ALLTEL Team Ready To Tackle Daytona

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- After a successful test at Daytona International Speedway in December, Ryan Newman and the ALLTEL Racing Team are ready to show their muscle in the ARCA RE/MAX Series event February 11 as part of Daytona Speedweeks. Based on what they saw, they are confident of turning heads.

"Overall, the car showed great potential and it was a really good test," Newman said. "The changes we made to the car dictated what it did, which is sometimes difficult at a superspeedway. We had the fastest lap of the test (186.997 mph, 48.129 sec.), which is real promising. We never got to draft much but I’ve learned it’s so important to have a car that will handle and I think we have a car that will handle well."

Newman and his Matt Borland-led Penske South Team will be taking "PRS-006," the race car they tested with in December, for his first career start on the 2.5-mile historical superspeedway.

"We have the attitude of going in there with the fastest car, getting the pole, leading the most laps and winning the race," said the South Bend, Ind.-native. "We have the potential, the equipment and the knowledge to do all of that."

The ALLTEL Team has accumulated some pretty impressive accomplishments in only a short time. Last season they captured three ARCA wins in only five starts and qualified tenth in their first Winston Cup start. In preparation for this season, they have surpassed expectations at every track they have traveled to, including Daytona, Atlanta, Texas, Darlington, and Las Vegas.

The stopwatch has been beating the Busch Series pole times and running competitively with the Winston Cup times from last year. So far, they have beaten Busch poles at Atlanta, Texas, and Darlington. Las Vegas gave Newman a chance to test the waters with the Winston Cup competition he will challenge seven times in 2001.

"This will be a great learning experience for us," Newman said. "The idea of my getting laps and learning the draft at Daytona is information that will carry over when we return in July and when we go to Talladega."

The ARCA RE/MAX Series competitors get their first look at the "World Center of Racing" with practice on Wednesday, Feb. 7. Qualifying for Sunday’s event will be Thursday following Goody’s Dash Series qualifying at 11:15 a.m.

Sunday’s Discount Auto Parts 200 Presented by ACDelco is scheduled to get under way at 11 a.m. EST. The event will be broadcast on Fox Sports Net on Feb. 12 at 1 p.m. following live coverage of Winston Cup practice.

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