Fords make big push for Indianapolis By Dave Rodman INDIANAPOLIS (July 17, 2000) The Brickyard 400 has been one of the NASCAR Winston Cup Series' marquee events since its inception in 1994, and no less than 20 teams using Ford Motor...
Fords make big push for Indianapolis
By Dave Rodman
INDIANAPOLIS (July 17, 2000) The Brickyard 400 has been one of the NASCAR Winston Cup Series' marquee events since its inception in 1994, and no less than 20 teams using Ford Motor Company products proved it once again on Monday when they opened a two-day "mandatory" test at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
By the end of the day, NASCAR 2000's "Bud Pole King" Rusty Wallace had posted the fastest NWC speed at Indy this summer when he ran 49.664 seconds, an average speed of 181.217 mph in his Miller Lite Ford.
Thirty-five drivers representing those 20 teams got on the flat 2.5-mile race track on Monday morning, with Robert Yates Racing teammates Ricky Rudd and Dale Jarrett posting two of the three fastest laps.
By noon, ambient temperatures approaching 85 degrees and a 140-degree track temperature had combined to maintain the times from the morning session as the fastest of the day, as it got no cooler as the clear day progressed.
Rudd, who clocked a best lap of 50.945 seconds, an average speed of 176.663 mph in the morning in his No. 28 Texaco/Havoline Taurus, was a little over 176 mph as of 4 p.m. to maintain his seat at the head of the class.
Roush Racing driver Jeff Burton placed his No. 99 Exide Batteries Ford in second on Monday morning, with a lap of 50.994 seconds, 176.490 mph. Jarrett posted a lap of 51.007/176.446 in one of two Quality Care Service/Ford Credit Fords that he tested Monday morning. Rusty Wallace's No. 2 Miller Lite Taurus was in at 51.025/176.385 and consistent Robert Pressley rounded out the top-5 drivers with a lap of 51.188/175.822 in the Jasper Engines and Transmissions Ford.
Oakwood Homes Chevrolet driver Joe Nemechek had the fastest lap from last week's two-day GM test, a best of 49.667 seconds and 181.206 mph. That unofficially bettered 1994 and 1998 Brickyard 400 winner Jeff Gordon's track record Bud Pole Qualifying lap of 50.108 seconds/179.612 mph, set on Aug. 5, 1999.
Fifteen teams used pairs of cars on Monday morning, including four of the five fastest drivers. Wallace was the only one of the top timers who concentrated on one car at the beginning of the test. Rudd, on the other hand, actually had the first and fifth quickest speeds. His second car was clocked at 176.119 mph.
Bill Elliott, Mark Martin, Elliott Sadler, Brett Bodine and Jimmy Spencer turned-in the sixth through 10th fastest laps in the morning. All but Bodine tested a pair of cars each. In last week's GM test, Nemechek and three other drivers, 1995 Brickyard 400 winner Dale Earnhardt, his Richard Childress Racing teammate Mike Skinner and Ken Schrader all posted speeds unofficially faster than the track record. Official records can only be set in actual qualifying sessions.
The test will conclude on Tuesday. The seventh Brickyard 400 will take place at 12:15 p.m. ET on Saturday, Aug. 5.