Ricky Rudd, driver of the No. 88 Snickers Ford Fusion, ran 38 laps in the first practice session and finished with the fourth-fastest time. Rudd spoke about how his shoulder feels and whether or not he'll be able to race tomorrow. RICKY RUDD --...
Ricky Rudd, driver of the No. 88 Snickers Ford Fusion, ran 38 laps in the first practice session and finished with the fourth-fastest time. Rudd spoke about how his shoulder feels and whether or not he'll be able to race tomorrow.
RICKY RUDD -- No. 88 Snickers Ford Fusion
HOW DOES THE SHOULDER FEEL AFTER PRACTICE? "It's sore, but I think it's gonna be all right. It hurts, really, to be honest with you, but I'm trying not to take any Advil or anything like that right now to see if I can deal with it. I don't know. Part of me say, 'I don't know,' but the other part of me is saying, 'Aw, you'll tough it out. You'll be all right.'"
IS PART OF THAT TOUGHING IT OUT COME WITH THE FACT YOU WERE FOURTH IN THE FIRST PRACTICE AND HAVE A FAST CAR? "That's a little motivation. It's pretty fast, but I think some of that speed might go away. We're too free right now. It runs good for a few laps and then it goes away, so we're working on that right now. It's got the speed, we've just got to get it to stay fast. That's what we're working on now."
WILL YOU WAIT UNTIL THE END OF THE SECOND PRACTICE TO MAKE A FINAL DETERMINATION OR ARE YOU GOING TO RACE FOR SURE? "I think I'm committed for it. I ran that whole session and ran quite a few laps. When I'm in the car it's most sore working the wheel. I guess adrenaline takes over and you're not really paying attention to if it hurts or not, but then you stop and get out and say, 'Oh man, my shoulder is sore.' It's kind of one of those deals. It's not like you're in the car and it's hurting worse."
IS IT BECAUSE YOU HAVE YOUR ARMS DOWN SO THE PAIN ISN'T AS BAD? "I notice the way I hold the steering wheel, if my left hand has to work up high on the wheel (around 11 o'clock), it's worse. But if it stays down in this position (around 7 o'clock), then this right arm is up high on the wheel. I think if was reversed and this was the bad shoulder (the right shoulder), I probably wouldn't be racing because that would cause more pain by having that arm up in the air."
Jamie McMurray, driver of the No. 26 Crown Royal Ford Fusion, was the fastest Ford qualifier on Friday and will start tomorrow's Subway 500 from the ninth position. McMurray, who was second-fastest in the first practice session this morning, spoke about why he likes Martinsville Speedway."
JAMIE MCMURRAY -- No. 26 Crown Royal Ford Fusion
WHY DO YOU LIKE THIS TRACK SO MUCH? "I don't know. I tested here in 2002 when I filled in for Sterling and had a really good test and I've always enjoyed Martinsville. It's always been one of the places that when things weren't going well that you could come to this track and you ran well. We didn't unload very good yesterday, but they've worked on the car and made it a lot better. We qualified OK and I think we've got a great car for the race."
IS THERE ANYTHING YOU CONCENTRATE ON ANYTHING SPECIFICALLY TO GET A RHYTHM OUT THERE? "The hardest part about Martinsville is that you want to get back to the gas a lot sooner than you can and it's really hard to discipline yourself to wait that extra half-a-second or whatever it is before you get back to the gas. Every driver has a place they feel very comfortable at and when they think about the race track they know the little quirks. Here and Sonoma are two of the places I always feel really comfortable coming to every year."
DO YOU FEEL YOUR COT PROGRAM IS PICKING UP STEAM? "We have a really good program with our simulation models and we have some really smart guys at Roush Fenway that help us with these setups and we actually just went over a few other changes we want to make to try and make some more grip in the car and make the car drive better. Our COT program has come a long ways and it's exciting to get to be a part of that."
Robby Gordon is shuttling back and forth from Martinsville Speedway to Texas Motor Speedway, where he's competing in the Championship Off Road Racing Series this weekend. Gordon, who competed last night, will be flying back to TMS this afternoon for tonight's event. He spoke about the experience after Saturday's first practice at Martinsville in which he was 11th-fastest.
ROBBY GORDON -- No. 7 MAC Tools Ford Fusion
SO ARE YOU FLYING BACK TO TEXAS AGAIN TODAY? "Yes, I'll be going back to Texas again and I'm driving a Ford truck in the CORR Series. Last night in the Jason Baldwin Cup -- the NBC race they'll be showing next Sunday -- I started eighth and got to the lead. I was leading with two to go and bicycled it in one corner. Carl Renezeder had gone inside of me and when we went into the next corner it bicycled again and we touched with my right-front tire to his left-front tire and it just stopped my truck and flipped it over. It was a bummer, but we had a good run. We ended up having a DNF in that race and then the next race I got a right-rear flat tire, so hopefully the night will go better. We're pretty well prepared. The truck was good when I got there and then, obviously, my Nextel Cup car with being 11th-fastest in practice makes us happy here as well."
WILL YOU PRACTICE THE NEXT SESSION? "I will not miss any sessions. I wasn't intending on missing any sessions in the beginning yesterday, but Brendan drove my car just a little bit due to a little bit of a miscommunication between NASCAR and myself. They told us that the truck practice would always go before the Cup practice, so I had enough time to make it from Charlotte to here and then at the last minute they changed their mind and made the Cup practice go before the truck. So I missed it by about 15 minutes from the time they started drying the track to the time I got here. I wasn't home sleeping late or laying on the couch. I was at the office working with my general manager just trying to get things better organized for the 2008 season."
YOU'RE HAVING FUN WITH THIS AREN'T YOU? "Yeah, I had fun last night. It was fun going down there and I'm looking forward to going down tonight."
-credit: ford racing