Amoco Team Has High Hopes for 2000 Season

HARTFORD, OH (February 24) -- The anticipation of a new season always brings optimism. For Dale Blaney and the Amoco ...

HARTFORD, OH (February 24) -- The anticipation of a new season always brings optimism. For Dale Blaney and the Amoco #93 sprint car team, it's hard to contain the excitement heading into the 2000 Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series campaign since this will truly be a new start. There are only a few things that will be the same with the Amoco #93 when Blaney starts the 2000 season this weekend in California. In 1998, he drove the car to a 10th place finish in the point standings and claimed the coveted Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series Rookie of the Year award. Dave Blaney's DB Racing now owns the car, and D.J. Lindsey and Gene Jenkins will be maintaining the #93, which includes a new chassis (Maxim) and engine program (Mopar). With all the changes the team made and the fact that the race for the Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series championship is expected to be as competitive as ever, Blaney knows the importance of starting the season well. "It's crucial that we get off to a good start," Dale said. "We're a new team and getting confidence early will be a major factor. D.J. and Gene have never raced full-time with the Outlaws, so being competitive early will give everybody confidence. "I know we're going to have a good year and we will get better as the year goes on, but we need to be in the hunt right from the start as far as the point standings go. If we can have some solid races early, I think that will give us the confidence we need to keep us going in the right direction." In what's become the norm for the Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series, the series will begin its 23rd season in California Friday at Kings Speedway in Hanford and the following night at Perris Auto Speedway. Blaney's experience at Kings and Perris is limited, but he's confident the team can get out of the box on the right foot. "I've said this before, but my first goal this season is to win a World of Outlaws race, so that's our goal the first weekend," Blaney said. "I've only raced at those tracks three times each with marginal success. I know we ran the Channellock Dash two times at Kings and qualified strong (third) my first race at Perris (October, 1997), but the best I have finished is eighth at Perris (October, 1998) and 10th at King's (February, 1999). I'm really looking forward to getting to both places and stepping on the gas pedal and see how the Mopar (engine) operates." This season, the Amoco #93 will be using Mopar engines that are being built by Gary Stanton, who also was behind the Chrysler Motors that led Mark Kinser to the 1999 Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series championship. The new crew, motor program, and chassis won't be the only changes for Blaney this season. The Outlaws have restructured their format to put more emphasis on the NAPA Auto Parts Heat Races by adding an additional Channellock Dash to the program allowing the "A" Feature to be lined up by the finishing order of the Dashes instead of simply being based on qualifying times. "I hope the new format gives us an advantage," said Blaney. "Even with the format change you still have to qualify well and with the motors we have, I think we will. The important thing is to qualify in the top 12 so that you make the invert on the heat races. As long as you finish in the top five of your heat race, you get to race in the Dash and try some things on the car, which in the past wasn't the case. The new format is definitely going to be interesting. It will certainly help out being able to get on the racetrack an extra time and being able to race for starting positions in the feature always gives you a chance." Everyone at DB Racing expects the team to win races and challenge for the Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series championship. Blaney is quickly approaching the $1 million dollar plateau in career earnings and heading into the season opener he feels like everything is in place for a terrific season. "Right now, I am as excited about racing as I've been in quite a few years," Blaney said. "Our sponsor, Amoco, and my brother, have given me a great opportunity this year. Everything with this team is exactly the way I want it. We all have a lot to prove and I'm just looking forward to racing and getting after it." WoO

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About this article
Series World of Outlaws
Drivers Mark Kinser , Dave Blaney
Teams HART