Ford Daytona Car Report

Here are some notes on Ford teams and the cars they will be running in the Daytona 500: 2 RUSTY WALLACE After bringing two cars to Ford's Daytona test in January, Rusty has decided to race PRS-18 in the Daytona 500...this is the same...

Here are some notes on Ford teams and the cars they will be running in the Daytona 500:

2 RUSTY WALLACE
After bringing two cars to Ford's Daytona test in January, Rusty has decided to race PRS-18 in the Daytona 500...this is the same car he had in last year's 500 in which he started 5th and finished 4th...car was strong again in the July Daytona race, finishing 3rd...also ran both Talladega races in 2000 and was an obvious contender in the spring before blowing an engine with 71 laps to go...finished 8th in the fall race after starting 38th...Rusty will run a new car in the shootout.

6 MARK MARTIN
Martin will be doing the opposite of Wallace...after testing here last month the 6 team decided to run their new car (JR-87) in the 500...the car was built during the off-season and debuted at the Ford test in January... Martin will race JR-59 in the shootout, a car he finished 5th with in last year's 500 and led a race-high 7 times for 98 laps at Talladega in the spring before getting shuffled late and finishing 6th. 7 MIKE WALLACE
Crew chief Tim Brewer was concerned during last month's test with this car's qualifying speed, but was comfortable with the way it drafted...since then this new car has been to Talladega for another test session and made a few more trips to the wind tunnel...this will mark the team's debut for Ford after running last year with Chevrolet.

11 BRETT BODINE
Bodine did not qualify for last year's 500, so he's trying something different this season...plans on racing a car that he bought from Roush Racing in 1999...car has not raced in over a year, but crew chief Mike Hillman said it's been totally re-done...team is particularly optimistic since they've switched to Yates engines.

12 JEREMY MAYFIELD
Mayfield is going with a proven piece for the 500 as he brings out car No. 05...it's the same car he's run on the superspeedways each of the past two seasons and is the same one he finished 3rd with in the '98 Daytona 500...as far as the shootout goes, Mayfield will be using a new chassis from the 2 team.

17 MATT KENSETH
Kenseth was consistently one of the fastest cars during Ford's Daytona test last month, so that's the obvious choice for the 500...car was built over the winter and had not been on a track until seeing Daytona in January.

21 ELLIOTT SADLER
It's a new year and Sadler's hoping for some new luck -- good luck...after a rough and tumble 2000, Sadler is hoping to realize the benefits of his team's alliance with Roush Racing... Sadler has raced this car twice on the superspeedways and it was the first piece constructed as part of the Roush partnership...car debuted here at Daytona in July and finished 18th...backed that up with a 17th-place effort at Talladega in October.

26 JIMMY SPENCER
Nobody enjoys restrictor plate racing more than Spencer, who always seems to have a competitive car for this event...will race the same Taurus he had in all four superspeedway events last season...best effort came at Talladega in the spring when he finished a season-best 5th.

28 RICKY RUDD
Rudd qualified on the outside pole and easily won his 125-mile qualifying race last season, but what he'd really like is his first Daytona 500 win...he'll try to do that with a brand new car that his team built during the off-season...tested it here in January and was among the fastest on day 2...Rudd still has the same car from last year and he'll run that in the shootout.

32 RICKY CRAVEN
This will mark Craven's debut with the Tide team, but the car he'll be driving has seen the track four times...WC-10 ran in both Daytona and Talladega races last year with Scott Pruett and posted a top-20 finish at each track...opened the season with a 19th-place showing in the 500 and was 20th in the spring race at Talladega... Craven tested the car here in January and was one of the fastest over the two-day period.

66 TODD BODINE
Bodine debuted with Haas Carter in the season finale at Atlanta and qualified 5th...struggled during the team's test here in January, but crew chief Larry Carter feels his team has made some improvements since then...this will be the third race for this car, which debuted here at Daytona in July with Darrell Waltrip...also ran at Talladega in the fall.

77 ROBERT PRESSLEY
Poised with a new yellow paint scheme, Pressley has brought an old reliable piece of machinery to race at Daytona...car No. 2 represents the second car built at Jasper by crew chief Ryan Pemberton and it has four restrictor plate races to its credit...has two straight top-20 finishes here at Daytona, finishing 20 in last year's 500 and 17th in the July event...was fastest in first day of Ford testing.

88 DALE JARRETT
Even though Jarrett's winning 500 car still sits in Daytona USA, the version he has this season has proven to be equally strong...this car debuted here at Daytona in July and sat on the pole...Jarrett led 2 times for a race-high 57 laps before finishing second to winner Jeff Burton...was in contention down the stretch at Talladega, but got shuffled back to 15th at the end...as for the shootout, Jarrett is racing the same car that won the race last year.

90 HUT STRICKLIN
Stricklin hasn't raced in the Daytona 500 since 1998 when he finished 42nd in the No. 55 Chevrolet...hopes to get car owner Junie Donlavey in the field with the car Ed Berrier drove in the 500 last year (finished 37th)...Stricklin has never driven this car in a race because he did not make the field in his only superspeedway qualifying attempt with the team at Talladega.

96 ANDY HOUSTON
Houston and his PPI team have put a lot of effort into his NWC Speedweeks debut...Houston will have a brand new car (WC-19) to drive this week, but he's tested extensively with it here at Daytona and Talladega...the car has also made four trips to the wind tunnel under the guidance of crew chief Joe Garone.

97 KURT BUSCH
This will be Busch's first restrictor plate race on a superspeedway as he begins his rookie season...Chad Little drove this car (No. 033) last year in both Talladega races and the Pepsi 400 here at Daytona in July...Little drove the car to a 16th-place effort in that July race and was 18th in the fall Talladega event.

99 JEFF BURTON
Burton won the first restrictor plate race of his NWC career here at Daytona last July when he edged Dale Jarrett in the Pepsi 400...despite that success, Burton will try a brand new race car for the 500...tested here and posted the 6th-fastest overall speed in the draft...the Taurus Burton won with here in July will run in the shootout.

- Ford

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