Ricky Rudd, opportunity knocks

Knock-Knock, Who's There! DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Ricky Rudd, driver of the No. 28 Texaco/Havoline NASCAR Winston Cup Series Ford Taurus, hears the knocking. However, it's not a childhood knock-knock joke. The knocking Rudd hears is all ...

Knock-Knock, Who's There!

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Ricky Rudd, driver of the No. 28 Texaco/Havoline NASCAR Winston Cup Series Ford Taurus, hears the knocking. However, it's not a childhood knock-knock joke. The knocking Rudd hears is all opportunity. The NASCAR Winston Cup 2000 season begins with 10 days of "Speedweeks" activities leading up to the Daytona 500 on Feb. 20. The Daytona 500 is the premier event on the 34-race Winston Cup schedule, and a win at Daytona is one of NASCAR's most cherished prizes. In addition, Rudd has other treasured opportunities waiting here in Florida. He is one of only two drivers qualified for both the Bud Shootout and the Winston "No Bull 5" million-dollar bonus awards. The Bud Shootout is a 25-lap race featuring drivers who won pole positions in 1999. Fifteen drivers will compete in the event that pays $100,000 to the winner on Feb. 13. The Winston "No Bull 5" bonus will pay Rudd and a race fan each a one-million-dollar bonus should Rudd win the Daytona 500. He qualified for the Winston bonus plan as a result of a third-place finish at Talladega in October. "It's pretty incredible the way this has all lined up," Rudd said. "It's great to have all those opportunities, but winning the Daytona 500 itself is what every driver aims for. I've won the Brickyard 400 (1997) and have that trophy on my mantle. The Daytona 500 trophy with that Brickyard trophy would make great bookends." While Rudd is focusing on Daytona, it is the opportunity to drive for Robert Yates Racing that he sees as his greatest opportunity. After being an owner-driver for six years, Rudd welcomes the chance to concentrate completely on driving. "This opportunity has allowed me to keep everything I love about racing, and get rid of everything I didn't like about the sport," Rudd said. "I only have to concentrate on being a driver. Robert is responsible for all the cars, the employees and getting everyone where they need to be. I won't miss those aspects of racing and I get to drive for a championship-caliber team. For Rudd, opportunity is indeed knocking. It is no childhood joke. Rudd could be opening the door to the greatest year of his already-successful career.

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Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Robert Yates
Teams Yates Racing