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DuPont Team Ready for ‘Dega

TALLADEGA, Ala. (Sept. 27, 2003) – As the NASCAR Winston Cup Series travels to Talladega Superspeedway this weekend, the No. 24 DuPont team is prepared, especially when it comes to rule changes and fuel strategy.

New rules will go into effect for this weekend`s race that will increase the size of the restrictor plate, which will, in turn, increase horsepower and drafting speed. However, NASCAR also increased the spoiler size to produce more drag, offsetting the increased horsepower.

“With the new spoiler changes, we are half-a-step in between where we were with roof rails and restrictor plate racing recently,” said Robbie Loomis, crew chief of the No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet. “The team has been working hard on our superspeedway cars, including two trips to the wind tunnel since Daytona. A recent trip to the wind tunnel included testing the new spoiler changes.”

“It will be interesting to see how much, if any, effect is noticed from these new changes,” said Jeff Gordon, driver of the No. 24 Chevy. “We always seem to be racing three and four wide in packs of 40 here and I don’t think you’ll see that change this weekend.”

Fuel and pit strategy have proven to be a key element to winning Winston Cup races recently. Due to the new restrictor plate dimensions implemented at Talladega, more fuel will be funneled into the engine thus creating yet another puzzle piece in the game of fuel strategy.

“We anticipate that the new modifications will alter fuel strategy by backing us up a lap or two,” Loomis said. “We’ll figure out our fuel range during Saturday’s practice sessions.”

Gordon has visited Victory Lane twice at Talladega. He also has eight top-fives, 11 top-10s and has led 427 laps on the 2.66-mile track, second only to Bill Elliott among active drivers.

“It’s a long race with a lot of action,” Loomis said. “I just sit on the pit box and hold my breath for 188 laps.”

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