Track: Darlington Raceway (1.366-mile oval) in Darlington, S.C.
Race: Dodge Charger 500 Date 05.07.05
NASCAR Nextel Cup points position: 36th (dropped three positions from last week)
- The No. 22 Caterpillar Dodge Charger at Darlington Raceway this weekend is Chassis No. 85. The chassis was last used at Darlington in November 2004, when Derrick Finley and Scott Wimmer worked together for the first time as driver and crew chief. The car was capable of at least a top-15 finish, but the No. 22 car fell off the lead lap after a caution came out just as the team finished pitting for four tires under green flag conditions. The CAT Racing team ended the day with a 22nd-place finish after starting 28th. The car has since been rebuilt to comply with the new 2005 rules.
- Everhart to carry for No. 22 In addition to his duties as the Caterpillar team shock specialist, Jason Everhart will begin handling additional responsibility this weekend at Darlington by carrying front tires for the over-the-wall CAT Crew on Saturday night. This will not be the first time Everhart has gone over the wall. He carried rear tires last year in the NASCAR Busch Series for Kenny Wallace and the No. 23 Bill Davis Racing Busch team. Everhart is slated to carry tires for the remainder of the 2005 season. He has been with BDR for four years and is originally from Thomasville, N.C.
- Meet Wimmer at Darlington Wimmer will stop by his merchandise trailer on souvenir row just outside Darlington Raceway to meet fans and sign autographs from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. ET Saturday, May 7.
- Go night racing with us Qualifying for the NASCAR Nextel Cup Dodge Charger 500 is scheduled to start at 5:10 p.m. ET Friday, May 6, and will broadcast LIVE on SPEED (TV), MRN (radio) and XM Radio. The Dodge Charger 500 is scheduled to start at 7:10 p.m. ET Saturday, May 7, and will broadcast LIVE on FOX (TV), MRN and XM Radio.
S. Wimmer on heading to Darlington Raceway:
It is going to be neat to go back to Darlington because that is where Derrick [Finley] started making the calls for us last year, and we really did have a good run the majority of the day. It was a great car, but we fell off the lead lap when we decided to make a green-flag stop for four tires. That was a good move, but then an unexpected yellow flag waved just a few laps later and that put us down a lap that we were never able to get back.
Speaking of recovering, that is what we have to do right now, and we know it. It is hard to communicate to our fans and everyone on the outside looking in, but our recent results are not from the lack of trying on our part. I know there is frustration, and we are all frustrated, but at the same time we cant let that interfere with our focus. There is no way Derrick and I ever thought we would be in this type of a position, but I guarantee we didnt intentionally flip at Daytona. I didnt ask to be hit at Phoenix, and I didnt welcome everyone to corner me on the track during the 25-car pileup at Talladega this past weekend either. I can say for a fact our cars are strong and are capable of so much more than our finishes are showing. We can be doing so much better if we can just stay out of these messes we keep getting collected in every weekend.
The one thing I am most proud of is the group of people at Bill Davis Racing and Caterpillar. The guys on my team truly never give up, and I dont either. Talladega was a prime example of just that. We had a great car there. It was fast. We got caught up in the typical restrictor plate Big One again, but the team did a great job getting the No. 22 Caterpillar car pieced back together so we could get back out and gain a few more points. I was going back out on the track when other teams were bringing their stuff in to pack things up and head home. I think there was something like 15 laps left to run, but the guys didnt let up and they got me back out there to gain some ground, and it meant a lot to me. I also appreciate the continued encouragement from all of the folks at Caterpillar. I have been able to meet a lot of them through our hospitality events so far this year and special appearances. Some of them also have stopped out to see me at the merchandise trailer, and I appreciate all of it and can speak for everyone on the team in expressing their appreciation, as well. We all know we are capable of more than this. Well shake this downslide.