Atwood Finds Home in No. 82 Fitz/Bradshaw Chevrolet
Tuesday, May 20, 2003
Since finding himself unemployed at the end of last season, driver Casey Atwood has been fishing on a Tennessee lake, as well as fishing for a Busch Series ride. He¿s attended several races, and lingered in the Busch Series garage, trying to catch the eye of an owner hungry for a young driver. And he finally caught one.
¿It¿s what I¿ve been looking for ¿ a real good Busch ride,¿ Atwood said. ¿I¿m hoping for a one-year or two-year full-season deal. The best thing for me to do is go back to Busch, win races, maybe win a championship, and then try to go back to Winston Cup in a few years.¿
Tuesday at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Atwood slid into the driver¿s seat of a stock car for the first time in six months. He¿ll be piloting the navy blue and gold No. 82 Fitz/Bradshaw Chevrolet May 24 in Charlotte, but it was Atlanta where he ran his first laps since the final race of the 2002 Winston Cup season.
Atwood ran a 177.181 mph lap, far slower than the Busch Series record ¿ 191.661, set by Ryan Newman in 2001 ¿ but not bad for a team who wasn¿t looking for speed.
¿We¿re just shaking it down and getting me some seat time,¿ Atwood said. ¿I feel better about going to Charlotte now that I¿ve got on the track here and seen that I¿m doing OK.¿
Fitz/Bradshaw and Atwood have teamed up to run a selective 13-race 2003 schedule in the Busch series. An official announcement about a sponsor is scheduled for Thursday afternoon at Lowe¿s Motor Speedway.
Atwood, a 22-year-old driver from Antioch, Tenn., started his Busch career at age 17, taking six poles and two wins before moving up to the Winston Cup Series in 2000. After two years with Evernham Motorsports affiliated teams in stock car racing¿s elite series, Atwood was left without a ride at the end of the 2002 season.