Earnhardt ready to try 'business' route for 24 hours at Daytona
Champion Sports Group
(January 4, 2001)
Dale Earnhardt, Dale Jr. and Andy
Dale Earnhardt returns to the track in the No. 3 GM
Goodwrench Service Plus car for the first time in 2001. But something is different as he
climbs in his machine. It's not the famous black number three that Earnhardt has made an
ICON over his racing career, he's testing his No. 3 GM Goodwrench Service Plus Corvette in
preparation for the Rolex 24 Hour at Daytona on February 3rd and 4th.
Earnhardt, along with son, Dale jr. and third
teammate, Andy Pilgrim, are testing their Corvette for the first time at Daytona
International Speedway in an open test for the 24-hour event. Pilgrim, a veteran in the 24
hour race, will lead the trio as they try to make history with a win, putting Earnhardt on
a short list of Mario Andretti and A. J. Foyt, as the only drivers to win both the Daytona
500 and the Daytona 24 Hour race. Even though the NASCAR Champion holds the record for
most wins at the "World Center of Racing", Earnhardt has never competed on the
road course at the breath taking facility.
"I've been racing here for many years, but according to
Andy (Pilgrim) I've been taking the 'by pass' around the track. This is going to be my
first time taking the 'business' route through the speedway, I'm looking forward to
it," commented Earnhardt.
"Dale Jr. and I tested the Corvette at Sebring after our
race in Atlanta. I came away very impressed, as did Dale Jr. It's a different type of car
and takes some adjusting knowing the characteristics," Earnhardt continued. "We
are coming in with the intentions of winning, so it's important we spend every lap
possible getting ready for the race. This three day test should be a good measuring stick
for when we return in a few weeks."
The test at Daytona International Speedway will begin
Thursday, January 4th and conclude on Saturday, January 6th.
Earnhardt has 34 victories at Daytona International Speedway
including 10 consecutive 125-mile victories ('90-99), five consecutive Busch Series wins
('90-'94) and the 1998 Daytona 500. His last victory at DIS came in the International Race
Of Champions (IROC) in February 2000.
T h e E a r n h a r d t C o n n
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