RICKY RUDD TESTS GRAND AMERICAN PROTOTYPE AT MID-OHIO SPORTS CAR COURSE LEXINGTON, OHIO (May 24, 2006) -- Ricky Rudd, NASCAR's "Iron Man," and one of NASCAR's 50 Greatest Drivers completed testing today for the first time at Mid-Ohio Sports...
RICKY RUDD TESTS GRAND AMERICAN PROTOTYPE AT MID-OHIO SPORTS CAR COURSE
LEXINGTON, OHIO (May 24, 2006) -- Ricky Rudd, NASCAR's "Iron Man," and one of NASCAR's 50 Greatest Drivers completed testing today for the first time at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio, in a Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series Daytona prototype.
Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course will host the Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series during the EMCO Gears Classic presented by KeyBank on June 23-25, however Rudd has yet to announce any plans that he may compete in this race.
"I don't know what's up next for me or where this will lead," Rudd said after this morning's test session. "I miss racing, and the competition, but not the schedule. I myself never used the word 'retired.' I wanted to take a year off, and see what happens," Rudd said. "But I've always enjoyed road courses and I'm fascinated with the Grand American Series. The cars are neat but it's a scary deal -- these cars haul butt and they're so close to the ground."
Rudd, who went on hiatus from NASCAR racing in November after 31 years and a record 788 consecutive starts in stock car racing's premier series, tested with Grand American driver Brian Frisselle in his Synergy Motorsports No. 8 Rx.com Porsche Doran. The Porsche Doran has its own connection to Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, in that the Doran chassis designer and builder, Kevin Doran, from Lebanon, Ohio has competed at Mid-Ohio several times.
"The track is so technical; a lot more so than the tracks that I'm used to running. This track is a ten as far as difficulty goes -- it is the toughest track I've ever run on," Rudd said in reference to his first time at Mid-Ohio. "The new pavement is so smooth, and the biggest trouble I'm having is getting used to the car and staying on the track. After 31 years, it's hard to break old habits. I'm just trying to come in with a fresh mind, learn the limits of the car, and go from there."
Rudd's accomplishments include winning NASCAR's 1977 rookie of the year, a 1997 Brickyard 400 victory at Indianapolis Motor Speedway as an owner/driver and the 1992 IROC (International Race of Champions) Championship. He also visited victory lane at least once every year fro 16 consecutive years, a modern era record he shares with Rusty Wallace.
Rudd was assisted on the track by an old friend, Grand American Hall of Fame driver and The Mid-Ohio School instructor, Elliott Forbes-Robinson. Forbes-Robinson won last year's EMCO Gears Classic at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course with co-driver Butch Leitzinger in the No. 4 Boss Snowplow Pontiac Crawford.
"Elliott is an old friend of mine from way back, and he just happened to be teaching a driving school program today, and swung by to help me out. There's really no one better to train someone in a prototype at this race track than Elliott -- he won last year's Grand Am race here and between him, Brian Frisselle and Price Cobb, I think I got all the education I could handle. It's just a matter of me getting out there and having confidence in the car. I'll hit them up again for advice once I get everything down and am onto gaining those 10ths of a second."
Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course is a 2.4-mile, 15-turn permanent road racing circuit in Lexington, Ohio. Located 60 miles north of Columbus and 75 miles south of Cleveland near Mansfield, the track has been called the most competitive in the U.S. and annually hosts a diversity of locally, regionally and nationally sanctioned racing events for amateur, club and professional riders and drivers. Mid-Ohio's 2006 schedule features a record eight spectator events, including American Le Mans at Mid-Ohio (May 19-21), EMCO Gears Classic presented by KeyBank (June 23-25), AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days (July 28-30), Honda Super Cycle Weekend presented by Dunlop Tire (August 4-6), Vintage Grand-Prix at Mid-Ohio (August 18-20), National Auto Sport Association Championships (September 15-17), AMA Road Race Grand Championships & AMA Motocross Manufacturers Cup (September 22-24) and the AMA Superbike Shootout (September 30-October 1).
Founded in 1981 and headquartered in Dublin, Ohio, TrueSports, Incorporated is a privately held motorsports entertainment enterprise. The company owns and operates Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course and The Mid-Ohio School, and promotes a wide variety of motor racing, driver instruction, corporate, and family entertainment events throughout the year.