NASCAR Busch Series competitors looking forward to Las Vegas trip DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (March 2, 2004) -- It's a long, long way from Chesapeake, Va., to Las Vegas, both literally and figuratively. Ashton Lewis (No. 46 Lewis Motorsports ...
NASCAR Busch Series competitors looking forward to Las Vegas trip
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (March 2, 2004) -- It's a long, long way from Chesapeake, Va., to Las Vegas, both literally and figuratively.
Ashton Lewis (No. 46 Lewis Motorsports Chevrolet) isn't exactly a farm boy, mind you. But Lewis' first trip to Las Vegas certainly got his attention. And now that Lewis and wife Meredith have made a few trips out West and know what to expect, where to go and what to see, they have their plans down pat as they arrive in town for Saturday's Sam's Town 300.
"Each season, I look forward to the trip to Las Vegas Motor Speedway," said Lewis. "Las Vegas is a completely different atmosphere than I was raised in. The first year, I wandered around in amazement at all of the people and lights. Now, we go out there and have everything mapped out -- what shows we want to see, what restaurants we want to eat at, what shops we want to go to. I enjoy taking in all of the sights of the town."
"We tested at Las Vegas in January (during NASCAR Busch Series Preseason Thunder) and had a very fast car in race setup," Lewis said. "We lacked a little bit on our qualifying runs, so we are planning on working primarily on qualifying runs during the first practice session. I think this is the year that we can put everything together and leave Vegas with a top-five finish. I cannot think of a better place to celebrate a strong race finish."
David Green (No. 37 Timber Wolf Pontiac) also put his car through its paces at Las Vegas prior to the start of the 2004 campaign.
"Las Vegas Motor Speedway is an amazing facility with tremendous fans and staff," Green said. "It's the smoothest track we run on all year, with three good lanes of racing. Plus, it's just a fun track to compete on, with a lot of money at the checkered flag. Our January test went really well. We found out a lot about the new tire and spoiler rules for 2004. It's going to be a whole different race than we've ever seen before. A lot of emphasis will be put on the setup and driver control as the tires begin to drop off, and to me, that falls right into our strengths."
Casey Atwood (No. 14 U.S. Navy Chevrolet) and his crew found some things during the test that could stand improvement.
"I would consider Las Vegas to be one of my favorite tracks," Atwood says. "When we tested out there in January, we had a lot of problems making our car grip like we wanted. The tires had a little bit to do with it. The Navy team has worked since then on getting our car to handle better in the turns. I'm definitely looking forward to it, though. As long as we can keep the car from sliding around on the track, we should be able to compete for a top finish."