Atwood geared up for Daytona By Brett Borden DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Feb. 9, 1999) Casey Atwood came into the 1999 NASCAR Busch Series Grand National Division campaign geared towards having his breakthrough season. After Bud Pole Qualifying...
Atwood geared up for Daytona By Brett Borden
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Feb. 9, 1999) Casey Atwood came into the 1999 NASCAR Busch Series Grand National Division campaign geared towards having his breakthrough season. After Bud Pole Qualifying Tuesday for the season's inaugural race, Saturday's NAPA Auto Parts 300 at Daytona International Speedway, nothing has changed.
Atwood took his first qualifying laps in the No. 27 Castrol GTX Chevrolet and tamed the 2.5-mile superspeedway in 47.575 seconds, translating to a speed of 189.175 mph, good for fourth on the grid.
"We changed gears before qualifying," said Atwood. "We struggled in practice. Our qualifying run really surprised us."
This kid is proving to be full of surprises, like the time last season when he won the Bud Pole Award at Nashville Speedway USA in his first NASCAR Busch Series start at the ripe old age of 17. He followed that up by finishing second in the race.
Atwood made as many NASCAR Busch Series starts as he could the rest of the season, and ended up with 13 starts while looking for seat time in preparation for his full-time effort in the series this year. He didn't top his first performance, although he did win the Bud Pole for the season finale in Homestead, Fla., but he hopes to change that this Saturday in the NAPA 300.
Unlike Nashville Speedway USA, though, Daytona International Speedway is not Atwood's home track.
"I've never raced here, and the team is not really experienced here," said Atwood. "To run this good surprised all of us. We didn't get out of the 48-teens all week. I just wanted to get in the top-25, and then when they told me on the radio I was on the outside pole that was quite a surprise!"
He's not on the outside pole, but he'll take the green flag right behind the man who is -- Randy LaJoie. While Atwood is pleased with his qualifying effort, he knows his toughest test at DIS lies ahead.
"The race will be the hardest part. But now that we've got a good solid qualifying run, we can practice in the draft and see how it goes."
Source: NASCAR Online