Charlotte: Rudd - Ford Saturday interview

Ricky Rudd, driver of the No. 88 Snickers Ford Fusion, qualified seventh for tomorrow's Coca-Cola 600 and was in the top 10 during Saturday's first practice session. He spoke about his car immediately afterwards. RICKY RUDD -- No. 88 Snickers...

Ricky Rudd, driver of the No. 88 Snickers Ford Fusion, qualified seventh for tomorrow's Coca-Cola 600 and was in the top 10 during Saturday's first practice session. He spoke about his car immediately afterwards.

RICKY RUDD -- No. 88 Snickers Ford Fusion

WE SAW THE 07 SPIN LIKE A LOT OF CARS HAVE THE PAST TWO WEEKS. IS IT A CASE OF JUST SURVIVING UNTIL THE RACE TOMORROW? "We talked about the fact that this race track sat with virtually no running on it since we were here on Thursday. I guess they had some sports cars run on part of it, but we figured it would be slick. It's a big deal because you've got to have your car loose to run at night, but you can't be that loose and try to run during the day. You've got to go conservative on the way you drive the race track. I went out and was running some conservative laps when I first started and my car was still slipping and was kind of unpredictable. It would be very easy for it to get out from under you, so Clint unfortunately was the guy who got bit. We're all in the same shape, he just might be trying to run a little freer in the heat of the day."

ARE YOU HAPPY WHERE YOU'RE AT AS FAR AS PREPARATIONS FOR THE RACE? "Yeah, I think we ended up top-10 on the speed chart (8th). We were just scuffing tires, but what we did, though, we were able to take advantage while we were scuffing we were able to make little chassis tweaks -- very similar to what we would be doing during the race -- just to see if I could feel the chassis changes and I think the car is really good. They were just making minor tweaks, but I could feel all the adjustments they were making."

BESIDES DAYTONA AND TALLADEGA, IS THIS THE NEXT BEST OPPORTUNITY YOU'VE HAD TO FINISH TOP-5? "A lot of work went into this effort. Actually, we had a great car at Texas and we never got a chance to show it. We got wrecked on lap one coming to take the green, so we already has some of that going. The other night in the all-star race we had one car that was really good and one that was OK, and this was the better car. Just like everybody else, we brought our best car for the 600, but the team has been steadily working. They've been to the wind tunnel and have been putting bodies on and working on the chassis and this is the first time that we've seen some really positive results that aren't sort of maybe just gonna be a flash in the pan. I feel like it's got a lot of staying power. I really like the way the car feels so it should run good the entire night, and then they'll just take this car and clone it. We need more of them."

-credit: ford racing

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Series NASCAR Cup