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NASCAR-BGN: Castrol GTX Driver Casey Atwood Wants Restrictor-Plate Redemption

22 April 1999

TALLADEGA, Ala. Just two months ago, Casey Atwoods Castrol GTX Chevrolet sat destroyed in the infield grass at Daytona International Raceway after the NASCAR Busch Series season-opener. It was just 25 yards from the start/finish line and 2.5 miles from a top-five finish in the 18-year-olds first race at the historical track.

This week Atwood and the Castrol GTX team are in town for the second and final restrictor-plate race of the season, and Atwood said he has not let the crash at Daytona affect his driving style.

If you race long enough, then you will be involved in that one bad crash, said Atwood, ninth in the championship standings. I feel that Im lucky in two ways. I was not hurt in the crash, and since I was not hurt, it has not affected my will to go fast. Im ready for the fast speeds and close racing of Talladega.

Restrictor-plate events feature side-by-side racing and things can happen very fast. Atwood will need a strong qualifying lap and will need to exhibit patience throughout the race.

If I can keep the Castrol GTX No. 27 out of trouble, then we should be pretty good for the end of the race, Atwood said.

The Castrol GTX team has been working overtime to build a new car for the race, and based on the performance of the Daytona car, the team says it is confident it will again have the car to beat.

I told the guys to just buy a new speedway car to replace the Daytona car, but that was not good enough for them, said Castrol GTX team owner Clarence Brewer. Jason (Ratcliff) and the entire Castrol GTX team insisted on building a new car. They knew we had a car that could have won Daytona, and they want to prove it. They have been working day and night to get this new car ready for this weekends race because they want to show the world that the Daytona race was not a fluke.

The Touchstone Energy 300 will begin at 3:30 p.m. EDT and will be broadcast live on television by ABC at 3:30 p.m. EDT. MRN will begin its live radio coverage at 3:15 p.m. EDT.

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