NO. 35 POWERTEL / MITSUBISHI WIRELESS CHEVY MONTE CARLO DRIVER-LYNDON AMICK Bristol Motor Speedway holds a special place in Lyndon Amick's heart, just as Lyndon holds a special place in the record books of Bristol Motor Speedway. In 1996, at the...
NO. 35 POWERTEL / MITSUBISHI WIRELESS CHEVY MONTE CARLO DRIVER-LYNDON AMICK
Bristol Motor Speedway holds a special place in Lyndon Amick's heart, just as Lyndon holds a special place in the record books of Bristol Motor Speedway. In 1996, at the ripe old age of 18, Lyndon became the youngest driver to ever win a NASCAR-sanctioned event at the .533-mile Speedway, capturing that honor during a NASCAR Goody's Dash Series event. Later that year, Lyndon went on to claim the Goody's Dash Series Championship at the age of 19, becoming the second-youngest driver to ever win a NASCAR Touring Series title.
Starting the season with a DNQ at Daytona, Lyndon and Team Amick have rebounded to score three top-15 finishes in the four races since. The biggest points jump for the driver of the No. 35 came after his 10th place finish at Darlington last weekend, when Lyndon moved all the way up from 29th to 19th in the Driver's Points standings.
Lyndon has a new traveling companion on the road, in the form of a blonde Labrador Retriever named "Belle." The eight-week-old puppy arrived via airplane from an Alaskan kennel last week, just in time to accompany Lyndon from Charlotte to Darlington.
On Bristol- "Bristol is another track where I was successful in the Goody's Dash Series, but where I haven't been as successful in the Busch Series. I love racing here, but you've got to be on your toes to avoid the big wreck, which you know is going to happen sometime. The key is to keep from getting bunched up if you can, so that you have some room to avoid a wreck if one happens right in front of you."
On the difference between the 1999 and 2000 seasons- "The biggest difference, of course, is having Ricky Pearson as my new crew chief. He's really helped me to regain my confidence and he believes in my driving ability, which is something I can't say about some of the guys I've worked with in the past. The other difference is, while we're not qualifying as well at some tracks as we did last year, we're finishing a lot better. If I have a choice between qualifying well and finishing well, I'll take a better finish every time. Qualifying well doesn't pay many points."
On the car Team Amick is bringing out for Bristol- "We're using the same car we had at Atlanta a couple of weeks ago. This will only be the second race we'll have run in it, but if it handles as well here at Bristol as it did two weeks ago, I think we're in for a good finish. Again, it's a matter of staying out of trouble, keeping the fenders on it, and being around at the end."
On scoring two top-10 finishes in four races- "I could definitely get used to running near the front. A lot of the credit has to go to the guys who go over the wall. There's been a couple of times where I've gained six or seven positions during a pit stop, and that's a tribute to the hard work those guys put in. Pit stop practice is a daily thing around the shop, and it's showing. Now we just need to eliminate the little mistakes that have cost us a couple of times during pit stops, and I think we can turn those top-10's into top-fives."