Rudd weighing options with second team Shawn A. Akers MOORESVILLE, N.C. (July 9, 1998) Ricky Rudd's view of the NASCAR Winston Cup Series isn't jaded. He's known for quite some time that, if he wants to continue to be competitive, he'll...
Rudd weighing options with second team Shawn A. Akers
MOORESVILLE, N.C. (July 9, 1998) Ricky Rudd's view of the NASCAR Winston Cup Series isn't jaded. He's known for quite some time that, if he wants to continue to be competitive, he'll most likely be forced to join the ranks of multi-car team owners.
The driver-owner of the No. 10 Tide Ford said he has several options, and will announce his plans along those lines within the next few weeks.
"With all the rumors floating around about the future of RPM (Rudd Performance Motorsports), I thought we need to provide everyone with an update of our plans," said Rudd, who became a NASCAR Winston Cup team owner at the beginning of the 1994 season. "We plan on starting a second team, and we'll know about our sponsorship commitments for that second team within two or three weeks.
"Nothing has been finalized yet. I've set a deadline at the end of July because I know I'll need to get things lined up by then in order to get the driver I want and to give us some time to get the second team started for the 1999 season. If it doesn't work out, then we'll look at our options."
Those options include merging with another established team, continuing as a single-car operation, or selling his team outright to another party.
"I certainly don't like that last option, but if that is what it takes to remain competitive and give Tide, Whirlpool and our other sponsors the best results, then that's the way to do it."
Some have speculated that Robert Yates, who already owns the No. 88 Quality Care/Ford Credit Taurus, driven by Dale Jarrett, and the No. 28 Texaco-Havoline Ford, driven by Kenny Irwin, might buy Rudd's team, but Yates himself dispelled those rumors.
"I don't know who started that, but there's nothing to that at all," said Yates, who worked with Rudd on a team owned by Bill Gardner in 1981. "We've never discussed that. I know that he feels like he needs to double up have the same advantages that some of the multi-car teams have.
"Our two-car team has worked really well for us. I should never say never, but I don't think I would ever run a third team. I think it would be very greedy to try and do it. It sort of monopolizes the sport."
There are five cars currently under the Roush Racing banner -- the No. 6 Valvoline Ford, the No. 16 PRIMESTAR Ford, the No. 26 Cheerios Ford, the No. 97 John Deere Ford, and the No. 99 Exide Batteries Ford. Hendrick Motorsports is a three-car team with the No. 24 DuPont Refinishes Chevrolet, the No. 5 Kellogg's Chevrolet, and the No. 50 Budweiser Chevrolet. Team SABCO also has three cars in its operation -- the No. 40 Coors Light Chevrolet, the No. 42 BellSouth Chevrolet, and the No. 46 First Union Chevrolet.
Other multi-car teams include: Richard Childress Racing (the No. 3 GM Goodwrench Chevrolet and the No. 31 Lowe's Home Improvement Chevrolet); Penske-Kranefuss Racing (the No. 2 Miller Lite Ford and the No. 12 Mobil 1 Ford); Bill Elliott Racing (the No. 94 McDonald's Ford and the No. 13 FirstPlus Financial Ford); Petty Enterprises (the No. 43 STP Pontiac and the No. 44 Hot Wheels Pontiac).
Joe Gibbs Racing will join the multi-car ranks next season when they add a team for driver Tony Stewart, along with the No. 18 Interstate Batteries Pontiac. Andy Petree and Travis Carter have also discussed plans this season of running second teams next year.
Rudd has struggled immensely in 1998, enduring his worst season ever as driver-car owner. He is currently 27th in the NASCAR Winston Cup point standings, with only one top-10 finish to his credit this season (sixth at Dover).
Rudd has recorded three straight bad finishes, 37th at Michigan, 41st at Pocono and 28th at Sears Point. He needs a victory in the next 17 races to keep alive his streak of at least one victory in each of the last 16 seasons.
Source: NASCAR Online