Pardus Ready for Winston Cup Return at Talladega
22 April 1999
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONCORD, N.C. (April 21) -- Dan Pardus is ready to go racing. Midwest Transit Racing has been in the process of reorganization -- including two moves and the hiring of general manager Lake Speed and promoting Jay Born to crew chief -- for the last month. Now the team is prepared to make a return to the NASCAR Winston Cup Series for Sunday's DieHard 500 at Talladega Superspeedway. Pardus is coming off a solid two-day test at the 2.66-mile tri-oval facility. "We were a little discouraged after the first day, because we couldn't get any faster than 189 mph," said Pardus, a Raybestos Rookie of the Year candidate. "We pulled our other car out the second day and it was faster off the truck. I ran 190 in it doing a shake-down run. By the end of the second day we ran nearly a 193 mph lap." The 36-year-old driver said Midwest Transit Racing, owned by Hal Hicks and Mike Witters, "left a lot on the table" during the test session. "We had a practice motor in and there was some chassis work that wasn't completed," he said. "We came back here and made all the changes we needed. We'll be back with a quality piece." The Talladega test was Pardus' first outing with Speed and Born. The trio immediately clicked during the test. "We communicated very well," said Pardus. "We were all on the same page. Lake is going to be a big asset with all his knowledge and experience in this sport. I can talk to him about what the car's doing on the track and he knows how to correct it and make it run right." The Midwest Transit Racing pit crew has only done one pit stop this season. It came in the Bud Shootout Qualifying Race. Over the last few weeks, the pit crew has been practicing four-tire stops outside the shop. "They're pit times have been pretty good," said Pardus, who finished third in his last ARCA start at Talladega. "I get in the car and drive it like I'm coming into the pits and they change tires. They're confident. I feel pretty good about it. Hopefully, we'll have a good weekend." Speed will take an active role during the race. He plans to stay in contact with Pardus via the team's two-way radio system. "He'll give me input during the race," said Pardus. "He's going to help spot for me during the race and work with me on the radio. That will be a big plus."