SCR: Before the 2003 season started, some observers thought you would get the nod to move up into Cup racing in the seat that Kenny Wallace ended up getting. And some even suggested you should have been in the No. 22 last season. Was the delay frustrating?
WIMMER: No. Not really because I just didn't fit in or have a sponsor that was backing me. So I just took it as biding my time to eventually getting to the day when I did fit into a Nextel Cup car. Fortunately that was this year with a great sponsor like Caterpillar backing me. It was a little frustrating sitting back running one more year in the Busch Series, but I still enjoyed it and think it ended up doing more good than harm.
SCR: At some point in time, did it enter your mind that Jeff Gordon raced for Bill Davis in the Busch Series before he was lured away by Hendrick Motorsports? Were there any thoughts that you might want to follow in his footsteps and move to another Nextel Cup team and get that part of your career started?
WIMMER: Definitely. I had some calls from different teams when things looked shaky as far as us getting a sponsor for our Busch team and it didn't look like we were going to be able to run. So I really stepped up and looked for a job for the full season. Bill Davis ran our car for half a season in 2002 without a sponsor. There aren't a lot of car owners that would have done that, especially with the way we were struggling at the time. We ended up finishing the year out on a strong note by winning some races.
Wimmer climbed into the No....
Wimmer climbed into the No. 22 vacated by Ward Burton, a long-timedriver for Bill Davis Racing.
SCR: Did a different Cup team approach you and ask if you'd be interested in driving for them?
WIMMER: I did have some other offers, but I never really pursued them because I had such a comfortable situation here at Bill Davis Racing. I was happy with where I was and he assured me that he was going to move me up the ladder and he has done that. I'm excited to still be here. I started my career here and it would be great to end it here. Right now I'm just having a blast.
SCR: Through it all, you've remained very loyal to Bill Davis. Has that been a matter of thinking that Davis is going to take you where you want to be with your racing career or more a case of not forgetting the man that got you to where you are today?
WIMMER: I think I'm in a situation that is very similar to Matt Kenseth at Roush Racing because he has been loyal to Jack Roush since he got him into NASCAR. Matt has realized what Jack has done for his career and Jack knows what Matt brings to his organization. I feel the same way about Bill Davis because he's the one that brought me up from ASA without a lot of experience even though I'd won a few races. People like that don't come around too often and I was very fortunate to have that happen to me. I'm going to try to make his organization as successful as I can for as long as I can.
SCR: You actually made your first career start for Davis in 2000 at Atlanta and finished 22nd then went a full year without racing in NASCAR's top series until a three-race schedule in 2002. At that point, did you think you were ready to step into a Nextel Cup Series seat?
WIMMER: I personally thought the best time for me to move up was around the end of the 2002 season. I was really on a high note because I'd won four of the last eight Busch races and finished third in the points. Things were really going great for me and I was so excited, but the opportunities didn't work out the way I wanted them to work.