Bill Davis Racing Facts
Owner: Bill Davis
Home Base: High Point, North Carolina
Two-Car Pontiac Team
Car #22 driven by Ward Burton
Crew Chief: Tommy Baldwin
Car #93 driven by Dave Blaney
Crew Chief: Gil Martin
Sponsor: Amoco Oil Co./Siemens
As Dodge and its new teams gear up for competition in 2001, Circle Track continues its monthly coverage of the evolving Dodge program-or, as we call it, Countdown to Dodge.
This month, Circle Track spoke with team owner Bill Davis to check the progress of Bill Davis Racing's foray into the world of Dodge.
Davis Racing has a balancing act on its hands-they are hard at work in competition for the 2000 season in Pontiacs while making the changeover for the 2001 season to Dodge.
This, of course, is no easy task, and like any undertaking of this magnitude, there is much work to be done. From the day-to-day standpoint, Davis racing is quite literally developing dual facilities.
To make the program happen, new Dodge Winston Cup cars have to be blessed by NASCAR. However, since Davis is fielding a two-car team, and his efforts are concentrated on the 2000 season, he has limited time to be involved with NASCAR on the Dodge project.
Fortunately, Ray Evernham is handling the task of getting the Dodge through NASCAR approval. That is not to say that there is not a lot to do-on the contrary, the birth of a new race car is a substantial undertaking. However, when we spoke with Davis, he indicated that things were developing well.
"It's a huge project," said Davis, "but we think we are on schedule; the car development is coming along nicely. The R&D effort is up and running, and we have been to the wind tunnel, so we feel we are on track. The template-approval process is pretty much up to Ray (Everhnam), since they are spearheading that portion of the development.
"Of course, I am involved with the project-I get daily updates, and wherever it's warranted, I get involved in the decision making. Also, Dodge has heavy involvement, has a great group of engineers in place, and has done a great job."
As the program comes up to speed, Davis Racing will also have a full engine and fabrication shop. The engines and bodies will be developed in separate facilities from the existing race program. Davis told us, "Like we do with our racing program now, we will be doing our own engines for the Dodge. We will have a separate shop that's almost ready, and we expect it to be operational soon.
"As far as the fabrication, we will also have a new shop to deal with that. The timing of the fabrication shop looks to be just about right. In both cases of the engine and car, we will have separate facilities so that nothing will be interfering with our racing this year."
All in all, the Bill Davis Racing team seems to be climbing into the saddle of the Dodge effort quite well. In the coming weeks, there will be some critical events, such as a shakedown test of the Dodge at Homestead, Florida, and of course, the all-important approval by NASCAR of the body templates.
Next month in our Countdown to Dodge series, we will speak with a couple of the soon-to-be Dodge drivers to see how they view the upcoming Dodge season.