Rudd, Martin fastest at Indianapolis

INDIANAPOLIS, Tuesday, July 18, 2000 -- NASCAR Winston Cup Ford drivers wrapped up pre-Brickyard 400 testing Tuesday at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway with Rusty Wallace fastest overall, Ricky Rudd fastest for the day and Mark Martin ...

INDIANAPOLIS, Tuesday, July 18, 2000 -- NASCAR Winston Cup Ford drivers wrapped up pre-Brickyard 400 testing Tuesday at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway with Rusty Wallace fastest overall, Ricky Rudd fastest for the day and Mark Martin fastest in sizzling afternoon heat. Wallace recorded the top speed of 181.217 mph for both the Ford and GM testing sessions, but it was done under late-afternoon cloud cover Monday. On Tuesday, the sun glared fiercely on the racing surfacing and pushed the track temperature to a scorching 143 degrees. This slowed all speeds by 2 to 3 mph as most teams worked on race setups. Martin drove his Valvoline/Cummins machine in mid-afternoon and ran a 177.207-mph lap, then returned later as the track cooled to 132 degrees and clocked a 178.177 circuit. During the morning session when it was cooler, his top lap was only 174.790. Rudd, driver of the Texaco/Havoline car and winner of the 1997 Brickyard 400, took advantage of the cooler morning temperatures to turn the day’s best speed of 179.592. Also clocking better speeds in the morning were Jimmy Spencer, 178.899; rookie Matt Kenseth, 178.390; Wally Dallenbach, 178.243, and Darrell Waltrip, 178.140. Wallace’s best lap Tuesday was 173.995, 20th overall on the day. Martin, who has finished fifth, fourth, sixth, second and fourth in the last five Brickyard races, wondered aloud whether the 181-mph turned by Wallace on Monday and Joe Nemechek last week during GM testing would be seen in qualifying Aug. 3. “It was awful cool,” he said about those sub-50 second laps. “They’re not going to let anybody run when it’s cold, and then everybody else go when it’s hot. It’s pretty much whatever the weather is when we come is what we’ll be racing under, so it’s a good chance it will be hot.” Qualifying for the pole and the first 25 positions is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. (EST) Aug. 3, possibly under a blazing afternoon sun. The pole speed has climbed from 172.414 mph by Rick Mast for the inaugural event in 1994 to the track-record 179.612 mph by Jeff Gordon last year. The race will start at 12:15 p.m. (EST) on Aug. 5. Defending Brickyard 400 winner Dale Jarrett was closest to Martin in the afternoon in his Quality Care/Ford Credit car. Reigning Winston Cup champion Jarrett turned a 177.808-mph lap in mid-afternoon. Looking at the top 25 speeds turned in by both Ford and GM drivers, Ford had 12 speeds, Chevrolet 9 and Pontiac 4. <pre> TOP 25 DRIVERS FROM FORD TESTING (July 18, 2000) (Only driver’s fastest speed of day listed) Pos. Name Time Speed 1. Ricky Rudd 50.113 179.592 2. Jimmy Spencer 50.307 178.899 3. Matt Kenseth* 50.451 178.390 4. Wally Dallenbach* 50.492 178.243 5. Mark Martin* 50.511 178.177 6. Darrell Waltrip 50.522 178.140 7. Dale Jarrett 50.616 177.808 8. Robert Pressley* 50.651 177.686 9. Brett Bodine 50.862 176.947 10. Chad Little* 50.898 176.824 11. Scott Pruett* 51.144 175.971 12. Stacy Compton 51.231 175.674 13. Jeremy Mayfield* 51.288 175.477 14. Robert Pressley 51.309 175.406 15. Jimmy Spencer* 51.311 175.399 16. Elliott Sadler 51.344 175.286 17. Ed Berrier 51.567 174.528 18. Scott Pruett 51.605 174.399 19. Ward Burton 51.625 174.331 20. Rusty Wallace 51.725 173.995 21. Mark Martin* 51.737 173.954 22. David Keith 51.834 173.631 23. Kevin Lepage* 51.885 173.459 24. Ricky Rudd* 52.196 172.425 25. Darrell Waltrip* 52.214 172.366 * -- Backup car

TOP 10 OVERALL DRIVERS FROM FORD TESTING (July 17-18, 2000) Pos. (Day) Name Time Speed 1. (Mon.) Rusty Wallace 49.664 181.217 2. (Tues.) Ricky Rudd 50.113 179.592 3. (Mon.) Jeff Burton* 50.214 179.231 4. (Mon.) Dale Jarrett 50.222 179.204 5. (Mon.) Elliott Sadler 50.227 179.184 6. (Tues.) Jimmy Spencer 50.307 178.899 7. (Mon.) Mark Martin 50.379 178.645 8. (Tues.) Matt Kenseth* 50.451 178.390 9. (Tues.) Wally Dallenbach* 50.492 178.243 10. (Mon.) Brett Bodine 50.508 178.187 * -- Backup car

TOP 10 OVERALL DRIVERS FROM GM, FORD TESTING (GM: July 11-12, 2000; Ford: July 17-18, 2000) Pos. (Car) Name Time Speed 1. (Ford) Rusty Wallace 49.664 181.217 2. (GM) Joe Nemechek 49.667 181.206 3. (GM) Dale Earnhardt* 49.929 180.253 4. (GM) Mike Skinner* 50.084 179.698 5. (GM) Ken Schrader 50.101 179.634 6. (Ford) Ricky Rudd 50.113 179.592 7. (GM) Johnny Benson 50.144 179.481 8. (Ford) Jeff Burton* 50.214 179.231 9. (Ford) Dale Jarrett 50.222 179.204 10. (Ford) Elliott Sadler 50.227 179.184 * -- Backup car

…BY2000-04…

Media Contacts: Eric Powell, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, (317) 484-6795, epowell@brickyard.com Paul Kelly, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, (315) 673-0184, pkelly@brickyard.com World Wide Web: http://www.brickyard400.com Fax on Demand: (877) 797-4639

Paul Kelly Communications Manager Indy Racing/Indianapolis Motor Speedway (315) 673-0184 (phone, fax) pkelly@brickyard.com (e-mail)

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Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt , Brett Bodine , Jeff Burton , Ward Burton , Wally Dallenbach , Jeff Gordon , Dale Jarrett , Darrell Waltrip , Matt Kenseth , Jeremy Mayfield , Rusty Wallace , Mike Skinner , Ken Schrader , Jimmy Spencer , Joe Nemechek , Kevin Lepage , Robert Pressley , Stacy Compton , Scott Pruett , Johnny Benson , Chad Little , Rick Mast , Ed Berrier , Elliott Sadler , Eric Powell , Paul Kelly , Mark Martin