Martinsville: Ricky Rudd preview

VIRGINIA NATIVE HOPES HOME STATE ADVANTAGE WILL GIVE SNICKERS TEAM A LIFT CHARLOTTE, N.C. (March 27, 2007) -- After a disappointing finish in Bristol with the Car of Tomorrow that was the result of a late-race wreck, the ...

VIRGINIA NATIVE HOPES HOME STATE ADVANTAGE WILL GIVE SNICKERS TEAM A LIFT

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (March 27, 2007) -- After a disappointing finish in Bristol with the Car of Tomorrow that was the result of a late-race wreck, the #88 Snickers team looks to regroup this weekend as the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series heads to Martinsville Speedway for the Goody's Cool Orange 500. Ricky Rudd, a Virginia native, hopes that a home-state advantage will help to pilot his team to the solid finish they've been looking for since the 2007 season started.

Quoting Snickers Driver, Ricky Rudd:

Going into Martinsville this weekend, what are the goals or challenges for you and the team?

"We always run really well in Martinsville. I know that I've been lucky enough to have won three of those wonderful grandfather clocks and it'd be nice to have a fourth one. At this point it's a whole lot more of the unknown than as in years past. Some tracks you just naturally do well at and Martinsville has been one of those for me. I'm open-minded about this weekend, and I hope we can do well. I love the racetrack and I enjoy racing at Martinsville. It's been a good track to me."

What are your opinions on the new Car of Tomorrow after Bristol?

"Some guys had it figured out and some guys didn't this past weekend. We were about a mid-pack car before we got wrecked late in the race. We never did get our car to turn in the corners, but it was sort of a community-wide problem where some guys were able to work through it. We just couldn't get it figured out. Once you get a handle on the car, it's honestly not that much different to drive than our current vehicles."

Quoting Snickers Crew Chief, Butch Hylton:

What are the challenges heading into Martinsville this weekend?

"We really need to get a strong finish in Martinsville on Sunday. We ran well last fall here and it would be great to be able to return and do that again. Of course, we'll be running a Car of Tomorrow again this weekend and our team is still adjusting to how the car handles and performs at various tracks. We're hoping to get a great run out of our Snickers Ford and we'll try to avoid getting caught up in any wrecks."

NOTES OF INTEREST:

* Virginia-native Rudd will be racing just 225 miles from his hometown of Chesapeake, VA this weekend at Martinsville

* With 53 career starts, Rudd has the most starts at Martinsville among drivers competing in the 2007 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series

* Rudd has a driver rating of 92.7 at Martinsville which is fourth best among current NASCAR NEXTEL Cup drivers

* Rudd's average finish at Martinsville is 14.9

* Rudd led 18 of his 53 Martinsville races for a career total of 1,571 laps led

* Rudd has a fourth-best average running position of 10.521 at Martinsville among all active drivers

* Rudd's best finish at Martinsville is a series of victories scored in 1983, 1986, and 1998

* Rudd has started a race at Martinsville from the pole four times (1981,1982,1983, and 1988)

-credit: ryr

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Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup