Casey Atwood

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Casey Atwood
Casey Atwood Stater Bros 2004.jpg
Casey Atwood at the Stater Bros. 300, 2004
Born (1980-08-25) August 25, 1980 (age 34)
Antioch, Tennessee, U.S.
Achievements Youngest Pole sitter in Nationwide Series history
Awards 1996 Fairgrounds Speedway Rookie of the Year
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series career
75 race(s) run over 4 year(s)
Best champ.
finish
26th (2001)
First race 2000 Chevrolet Monte Carlo 400 (Richmond)
Last race 2003 Brickyard 400 (Indianapolis)
Wins Top tens Poles
0 4 1
NASCAR Nationwide Series career
158 race(s) run over 10 year(s)
2009 position 44th
Best champ.
finish
8th (2000)
First race 1998 GM Goodwrench Service Plus 200 (Rockingham)
Last race 2009 Able Body Labor 200 (Phoenix)
First win 1999 DieHard 250 (Milwaukee)
Last win 1999 MBNA Gold 200 (Dover)
Wins Top tens Poles
2 30 6
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series career
4 race(s) run over 2 year(s)
Best champ.
finish
52nd (2005)
First race 1996 Federated Auto Parts 250 (Nashville)
Last race 2005 World Financial Group 200 (Atlanta)
Wins Top tens Poles
0 0 0
Statistics current as of July 3, 2012.

Casey Lee Atwood (born August 25, 1980 in Antioch, Tennessee)[1] is an American stock car racing driver. A former competitor in NASCAR competition, he is the youngest pole winner in NASCAR Busch Series history.

Career before NASCAR[edit]

At a young age, he became interested in racing. By the age of ten, Atwood was racing go-karts. His early passion for racing later progressed to Late Model Stock racing by the age of 15. He was the 1996 rookie of the year at Nashville Speedway USA. Casey attended John Overton High School in Nashville, Tennessee until he dropped out in 1999 to pursue his racing career.

NASCAR career[edit]

Busch Series[edit]

2004 Busch Series car at Lowe's Motor Speedway (now Charlotte Motor Speedway)

Atwood debuted in the Busch Series at North Carolina Speedway with a modest 21st-place finish, but stunned the racing world upon his next attempt. At Nashville Speedway in March, the 17-year-old Atwood qualified on the pole position, making him the youngest pole winner in NASCAR history. But a brilliant performance would follow, as Atwood led 104 laps and ultimately brought his Chevrolet home in 2nd place. Atwood made sporadic starts over the course of the year, none equal to his second race, but after moving from Larry Lockamy's part-time team to Hensley Racing in September, the driver had strong showings at Atlanta (where he started 36th but made his way to the front) and Homestead (where he claimed his second pole).

In 1999, he joined the Brewco Motorsports #27 Castrol GTX Chevy team for his first full season in the NASCAR Busch Series. Atwood flipped at Daytona International Speedway after he got tapped by Andy Hillenburg coming to the white flag and almost got a top 5 finish that race. He became the youngest driver ever to win a Busch Series pole, taking pole position at Nashville Speedway USA. He went on to finish second in what was only his second Busch Series race. By the end of 1998 he had won two poles and 5 top 20's in 11 races. He also became the youngest winner in Busch Series History when he won at the Milwaukee Mile at the age of 18 on July 4, 1999, which would stand until Joey Logano bested Atwood's mark by winning the Meijer 300 at Kentucky Speedway on June 14, 2008 at the age of 18 years and 21 days. Atwood won another race at Dover in September and acquired two poles.

2009 Nationwide car at Milwaukee

He finished 1999 with two wins, five top 5's and nine top 10's. He finished 13th in points. 2000 proved to be another good year for him, as he managed to have two poles and 8 top 10's, finishing 8th in points. In 2003 and he drove the #14 Navy Chevy for FitzBradshaw Racing. 2004 was a mediocre year for Atwood. He ran full-time for FitzBradshaw Racing. He had problems, but he still had seven top 10's. He nearly won at Richmond but got tapped by Martin Truex Jr. with less than ten laps to go, allowing Robby Gordon to win. Atwood was diagnosed by Fitz of having "a lack of confidence and no aggression on the race track". Fitz hired Flip Flippen to be Atwood's psychologist. Atwood was fired by Armando Fitz and Terry Bradshaw with five races remaining in the season. Atwood was 13th in points at the time, and he fell back to 19th. In 2005 he drove a few races for Evernham Motorsports in the #6 Hellmanns Mayonnaise Dodge.

In early to mid-2006, Atwood practiced and qualified the #18 Busch Series car for J. J. Yeley and Joe Gibbs Racing in select races. Beginning at Richmond in September, he drove the #27 car for Brewco Motorsports once again, for the rest of 2006. Atwood was replaced by Ward Burton in the #27 car at Brewco Motorsports. After a year away from the sport, he returned to Brewco to pilot the 27 car again. He returned in 2009, qualifying for 20 races in the #05 car for Wayne Day, and finished 44th in points.

Winston Cup[edit]

Atwood in 2003

In 2000, Atwood made his Winston Cup debut in a #19 Motorola Ford for Ray Evernham at Richmond International Raceway. He started 35th and finished 19th, two laps down. He made two more starts that year and earned his first top 10, a 10th at Homestead. He moved up to NASCAR Winston Cup full-time in 2001 in the #19 Dodge Dealers car for Evernham Motorsports, which was a newly formed team under the Dodge banner, to compete for Rookie of the Year honors. Atwood was the youngest driver in the series in 2001.[2] He was nicknamed the "Next Jeff Gordon" and was teammate to former Cup Champion, Bill Elliott. Atwood struggled through the year, but improved as the season went on, winning the pole at Phoenix and was in contention to win the race, while leading the race a flat tire slowed his day as he was only able to make it back to 14th place by the end of the race. A week later at Homestead, FL he was leading with five laps to go, but was passed by Elliott and Michael Waltrip, to place third, his best Cup finish. Atwood also finished third in the Winston Cup Rookie of the Year standings (behind Kevin Harvick and Kurt Busch), and 26th in Cup standings.

In 2002, he moved from Evernham's team to the #7 Ultra Motorsports Sirius Satellite Radio-sponsored car as part of an agreement with Evernham and Ultra owner Jim Smith, where Smith's team would switch from Ford to Dodge, receive equipment and engines from Evernham, and change their name to Ultra-Evernham Motorsports. Atwood struggled throughout the year, having no top 10's, and just one top-10 qualifying effort and finishing 35th in points. With two races left in the season, he was fired by Jim Smith (which also brought an abrupt end to the Ultra/Evernham partnership) and was replaced by Jason Leffler, and later, Jimmy Spencer. Atwood ran the last race of the year in Evernham's #91 Dodge and qualified 12th, but finished poorly. Also during 2002, Atwood drove an Evernham ARCA car at Pocono and dominated, winning the race.

In 2003, he drove Evernham's #91 research and development car for two races. At Pocono Raceway with sponsorship from Mountain Dew LiveWire, Atwood finished 40th after engine troubles. He also ran in the Brickyard 400 without sponsorship, but was only able to muster a 31st place finish. Atwood's most recent appearance in the series was a failed qualifying attempt for the 2006 Ford 400 at Homestead. He was driving the #95 Scott Towels Chevrolet for Stanton Barrett.

Craftsman Truck Series[edit]

Atwood posing with a young fan at Dover in 2004, courtesy of the U.S. Navy

Atwood first appeared on the NASCAR scene in 1996, at the age of 16, in a Craftsman Truck Series race at Nashville Speedway USA. He finished 32nd in the #48 STP Chevrolet. In 2005, Atwood had no ride. He was picked up by Bobby Hamilton to drive the first three races of the Craftsman Truck Series season in the #4 Bailey's Cigarettes Dodge. Atwood ran well during the three race stint, but scored no top tens.

Post-NASCAR career[edit]

After three years away from racing, Atwood returned to competition in 2012, competing in late model competition at Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway.[3]

Personal life[edit]

Atwood married his longtime girlfriend, Laura, in 2005. They have two daughters together.

Career results[edit]

* Season in progress
1 Ineligible for series points

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series[edit]

Year Starts Wins Top 5 Top 10 Poles Avg. Start Avg. Finish Winnings Position Team(s)
2000 3 0 0 1 0 20.7 18.0 $97,030 54th #19 Evernham Motorsports
2001 35 0 1 3 1 20.1 24.8 $1,797,111 26th #19 Evernham Motorsports
2002 35 0 0 0 0 29.5 29.4 $1,988,254 35th #7 Ultra-Evernham Motorsports
#91 Evernham Motorsports
2003 2 0 0 0 0 30.5 35.5 $149,838 57th #91 Evernham Motorsports

NASCAR Nationwide Series[edit]

Year Starts Wins Top 5 Top 10 Poles Avg. Start Avg. Finish Winnings Position Team(s)
1998 13 0 1 1 2 16.9 20.1 $123,654 38th #28 LAR Motorsports
#27 Brewco Motorsports
#63 HVP Motorsports
1999 31 2 5 9 2 16.3 21.7 $579,713 13th #27 Brewco Motorsports
2000 32 0 0 8 2 16.3 19.3 $775,415 8th #27 Brewco Motorsports
2003 14 0 0 4 0 26.8 20.7 $214,886 37th #14/#82 FitzBradshaw Racing
2004 29 0 1 7 0 19.6 18.9 $763,441 19th #14 FitzBradshaw Racing
2005 4 0 0 1 0 22.2 20.5 $82,520 76th #6 Evernham Motorsports
2006 8 0 0 0 0 17.0 20.6 $223,084 52nd #27 Brewco Motorsports
2007 4 0 0 0 0 27.0 20.0 $76,600 80th #27/#37 Brewco Motorsports
2008 3 0 0 0 0 24.3 32.0 $65,408 93rd #05 Day Enterprise Racing
#27 Baker Curb Racing
2009 20 0 0 0 0 27.8 34.7 $430,670 44th #05/#85 Day Enterprise Racing

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series[edit]

Year Starts Wins Top 5 Top 10 Poles Avg. Start Avg. Finish Winnings Position Team(s)
1996 1 0 0 0 0 25.0 32.0 $3,700 123rd #48 Chuck Spicer Racing
2005 3 0 0 0 0 28.7 15.7 $33,080 52nd #4 Bobby Hamilton Racing

References[edit]

  1. ^ Casey Atwood Career Statistics
  2. ^ Shapiro, Mark (July 13, 2001). "The field of hopefuls". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2014-05-04. 
  3. ^ Woody, Larry (April 13, 2012). "Atwood Gets Back On Track". Racin' Today. Retrieved 2012-04-13. 

External links[edit]