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GMAC Racing Already Showing Signs of Improvement

CONCORD, N.C. (March 3, 2005) – The NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series season is only two races old, but the GMAC Racing team is showing signs of improvement early on.

A pair of 21st-place finishes at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway and California Speedway have the team resting 20th in the point standings headed into the series’ first of three off weekends in 2005.  So far, their efforts have them nine places higher in the standings compared to one year ago.

“Could have” and “should have” don’t amount to very much in the finishing order however, Brian Vickers, driver of the No. 25 GMAC/ditech.com Chevrolets, realizes things are moving in the right direction for the team.

“I’m excited about the performances we’ve put together so far,” Vickers said.  “If you look at Daytona, we were running inside the top-10 when were caught up in an accident that was not our fault, but managed to finish on the lead lap, damaged car and all.”

At California Speedway last weekend, Vickers qualified on the outside-pole for the Auto Club 500, marking the seventh time the 21-year-old has started second in just 43 career Cup Series starts. He led a lap for the first time in 2005, picking up a valuable five bonus points in the process.  In 2004, the No. 25 team didn’t lead a lap until the ninth race of the season.

With less than 80 laps remaining in the race and in 10th-place, Vickers experienced engine problems, hindering his bid to post a top-10 result.  Despite the challenges, the GMAC Racing team finished on the lead lap for the second time in as many races.

“In my opinion, the biggest factor contributing to the improvements has to be the re-organization of personnel and the combining of the Nos. 5, 25 and 44 teams under one roof,” Vickers said.  “Because of everyone’s hard work and dedication, things are going well right now, but they’re only going to get better.”

NEXTEL Cup Series teams will return to action on Sunday, March 13 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.  In 2004, the GMAC Racing team qualified third for the 400-mile event.  FOX will provide television coverage beginning at 2 p.m. ET.

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