Chicagoland: Ricky Rudd preview



CHARLOTTE, NC (July 9, 2007) -- This weekend the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series travels to Chicagoland Speedway for the USG Sheetrock 400 in Joliet, Illinois. After an unlucky encounter in Daytona during last weekend's Pepsi 400, Ricky Rudd and the #88 crew look to capitalize on the growth the Robert Yates Racing program has gained on their intermediate track program. The team will also be using the same chassis which they ran at Charlotte for the Coca-Cola 600 earlier in the season where they had tremendous success with a season-best seventh-place finish. Rudd and his team hope to yield similar results this weekend in Chicago. Also this weekend, the #88 team will be running the bright yellow PEDIGREE® Brand Food for Dogs Ford Fusion instead of their traditional Snickers Ford paint scheme.

Quoting PEDIGREE Driver, Ricky Rudd:

How are you feeling going into Chicago and the intermediate track versus a road-course or superspeedway?

"I really like Chicagoland Speedway. It's been a track that has been really good to us over the years in fact. Chicago is one of the newer intermediate tracks where down force is a focus for us in our testing and research. Our program on the intermediate tracks at Robert Yates Racing has been getting better and better this year. We're still trying to get a handle on our Car of Tomorrow program so for me personally, I'm really looking forward to running the conventional car at Chicago this weekend due to the fact that Chicago is a great track for our team to show the strides that we've been able to make on our intermediate track development."

Based on previous races at Chicago, how confident are you going into this weekend's race?

"Well it is one of the tracks that we've only had NEXTEL Cup Series racing at a handful of times. Looking back on the races I've run there, we have always run very well but it usually always ended up that something happened during the race that the finishes we had never truly reflected how strong our cars were. It really has felt that we've been competitive every time I've run there so we'll just have to see how we fair this weekend with our #88 PEDIGREE car."

Quoting PEDIGREE Crew Chief, Butch Hylton:

What does it mean to you coming back to the Chicago area where you grew up?

"I'm really excited to come to Chicago this weekend. I spent the very early years of my life in this area and it's going to be a neat experience to take my son out this weekend and show him where I grew up. We still have a lot of family in the area so coming to Chicagoland Speedway is a bit of a homecoming for me. I actually grew up in Richton Park, Illinois and my memories from growing up surrounded by racing revolve around going to ARCA races with my dad and we spent a lot of time at Rockford Speedway. I'm just looking forward to a great weekend here in Chicago."

Are you feeling confident heading into Chicago this weekend?

"I truly believe that we have a great race car for this weekend. This is actually the same car that we ran in Charlotte for the Coca-Cola 600 and we had our best finish of the season. We're also using a similar set-up to the cars we ran at Michigan and Pocono. Both of those tracks we ran really well but our results just didn't reflect how well the cars handled there. The goal for this weekend is to finally have the results this weekend at Chicago that we've been striving for all season."

-credit: ryr

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Robert Yates
Teams Yates Racing