NASCAR Driver Ricky Rudd, Save Mart's Bob Piccinini to Enter Raceway Wall of Fame SONOMA, Calif. (June 5, 2007) -- NASCAR NEXTEL Cup driver Ricky Rudd and Save Mart Supermarkets chairman and CEO Bob Piccinini will be honored during the ...
NASCAR Driver Ricky Rudd, Save Mart's Bob Piccinini to Enter Raceway Wall of Fame
SONOMA, Calif. (June 5, 2007) -- NASCAR NEXTEL Cup driver Ricky Rudd and Save Mart Supermarkets chairman and CEO Bob Piccinini will be honored during the Toyota/Save Mart 350 weekend by being inducted into the Infineon Raceway Wall of Fame.
Rudd, considered one of the best road-course drivers in NASCAR history, is a two-time winner at Infineon Raceway and he has also sat on the pole four times. He won the inaugural race at then-Sears Point Raceway in 1989, edging Rusty Wallace by a scant .05 seconds, which is still a track record.
Moreover, in 18 career starts on the twisting road course, Rudd has finished no worse than fourth 11 times.
Piccinini and Rudd will be inducted into the Infineon Raceway Wall of Fame on Friday, June 22, at 10:30 a.m. (Pacific). Race fans are invited to attend the ceremony, which will be held in the Wine Country Winner's Circle.
"I'm really honored and proud to be chosen for the Wall of Fame," Rudd said. "It's wonderful to be a part of the history of Cup racing out at Infineon and I'm just proud of the fact that we've had some accomplishments out there that they see worthy enough to place me on their Wall of Fame."
Rudd returned to NASCAR in 2007 after a one-year absence and pilots the No. 88 Snickers Ford for long-time friend and team owner Robert Yates. His success on the road course has paralleled his overall success in NASCAR. Rudd, a Virginia native, has 23 career victories and has placed in the top 10 in overall points nine times since 1989.
Ironically, his last Cup victory came at Infineon Raceway in 2002 while driving the familiar Texaco/Havoline Ford for Yates. Rudd held the lead for two laps, but they were the most important two laps of the race as he took the checkers.
Piccinini, whose Modesto-based grocery chain has been associated with Infineon Raceway since 1992, has played a critical role in the growth of the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series, not only at Infineon Raceway, but throughout all of Northern California.
"We have enjoyed our relationship with Infineon Raceway and I am truly honored to be entering the Wall of Fame," Piccinini said. "It's amazing to see the growth of NASCAR in both Northern California and the Central Valley and we're happy to have been part of that growth. We look forward to continuing our relationship with the raceway well into the future."
Save Mart is one of the longest-running title sponsors of a NASCAR Cup race in the country. It served as sole title sponsor of the event in the Sonoma Valley from 1992-1997 and has combined with partners as co-title sponsor since 1998, including this year for the Toyota/Save Mart 350. Piccinini has spearheaded Save Mart's efforts at Infineon Raceway with creative and innovative promotional campaigns at every one of his 125 stores, which are based primarily in the Central Valley.
Toyota/Save Mart 350
WHAT: Big O Tires Racing Season Presents: Toyota/Save Mart 350
WHEN: June 22-24
CIRCUIT: 10-turn, 1.99-mile road course
2006 POLE WINNER: Kurt Busch (Miller Lite Dodge)
2006 WINNER: Jeff Gordon (DuPont Chevrolet)
NOTABLE: The weekend will also feature competition in the NASCAR Grand National Division West Series during Saturday's Blue Lizard Suncream 200.
TICKETS: $30-$130 single day/$99-$180 weekend; parking is FREE
INFORMATION: 800-870-RACE, www.infineonraceway.com or www.ticketmaster.com