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Scott Wimmer CAT Racing Event Preview Daytona 500

  • The No. 22 Caterpillar Dodge Charger at California Speedway this weekend is Chassis No. 82 … It was last run in the 2004 Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, where Wimmer fell out of the race after an accident on lap 148 of the 161-lap event (finishing 32nd).  It also was run at Lowe’s Motor Speedway in May (finished 28th).  The car has since been rebuilt to comply with the new 2005 rules.
  • Pre-season testing … Wimmer and his No. 22 Cat team took full advantage of the pre-season practice sessions, testing at California in early February.
  • More testing ahead … The No. 22 Caterpillar team will enjoy having next weekend off and then will head to Atlanta Motor Speedway to do a two-day test session March 7 and 8.
  • Don’t miss any of it … Qualifying for the NASCAR Nextel Cup Auto Club 500 is scheduled to start at 12:10 p.m. PST (3:10 EST) Saturday, Feb. 26, and will broadcast LIVE on FX (TV), MRN (radio) and XM Radio. The Auto Club 500 is scheduled to start at 12:10 p.m. PST (3:10 p.m. EST) Sun., Feb. 27, and will broadcast LIVE on FOX (TV), MRN and XM Radio.

CAT Racing Quotes

 S. Wimmer or on how he is doing since the big crash in the Daytona 500:

“I am feeling fine.  Everybody at Bill Davis Racing does a great job putting safe race cars together and I felt ok Monday. I was a little sore getting out of bed, but I have actually been sorer after some other races than I was after this Sunday.  I think I was fortunate no one else hit me when I was flipping or after I came to a stop down on the grass.  Like I said before, the guys just do such a great job every time we go racing to make sure the cars are safe.  The safety belts and the Hans definitely did their job Sunday.

“Everyone keeps asking what I recall.  I can remember going into the corner.  We were running three-wide and running pretty tight.  It looked like somebody got loose and then [Greg] Biffle got sideways and I tried to go down, but I didn’t have enough time to really react.  When the collision first started taking place, I definitely didn’t expect to start rolling, but I hit the apron and it hit just the right way to cause the car to roll.  When I got down off the track, I felt the car pick up in the air.  I wasn’t sure what was going to happen next, but it seemed like it took forever for the car to stop flipping.  It was very weird and I just kept wondering when I was going to stop and how I was going to get out of the car once it stopped. It got up on its nose and finally rested on its wheels.  It smacked the wind out of me for a second, but I got my breath back and was fine.  Fortunately, all the stuff held together well.  These cars are built to endure situations like that.  The accident was just part of good, hard racing.  That is what seems to happen the last laps at Daytona.  Everyone wants to get to the front and you just run out of room.”

S. Wimmer on his run at Daytona and year ahead:

“We definitely were on to something Sunday.  The majority of the day was a good day for us.  We managed to run with the lead pack a good chunk of the race and were well on our way to at least a top 10 before the accident happened.  The guys did a good job on pit road and Derrick [Finley] made good calls for us, as well.  Of course, it didn’t end the way we wanted our Speedweeks to end, but I think it is a good start to the season.  We can’t let matters that are out of our control get us down.  [Mike] Skinner was having a good day, too, so it just goes to show what these guys can do and I hope the way we ran Sunday is just a preview of what is yet to come for us this year … minus the flipping out of the race at the end.  Believe me, I hope that was a one-time occurrence for us this year.

“I am confident about the year ahead.  Bill [Davis] has done a real good job putting together a great group of people to work on the CAT Racing program.   You can really tell a difference when you walk into the shop.  Morale is definitely up and we are all looking ahead with optimism.”

S. Wimmer on California and the test session they had there earlier this month?

“We went out there to test last month and our test got cut short in California.  We definitely could’ve used another day out there, but I still feel confident going out there this weekend especially after our performance Sunday.  California is going to be about four-tire stops and fuel mileage.  Derrick [Finley] did a good job with pit strategy Sunday and I am confident he will be on the mark this weekend, as well.  The pit crew did a great job, as well.  I think we showed that we are all ready to go racing again and we’re looking forward to getting out to California to put out the same effort—if not more.”