Darlington pre-race notes

TRANSOUTH FINANCIAL 400 PRE-RACE NOTES Darlington Raceway -- Sunday, March 23 RICKY RUDD (No. 10 Tide Ford) -- (On his flu bug and status for today's race.) I'm not in great shape to where I'd want to be running a 400-mile race. It's a ...

TRANSOUTH FINANCIAL 400 PRE-RACE NOTES Darlington Raceway -- Sunday, March 23

RICKY RUDD (No. 10 Tide Ford) -- (On his flu bug and status for today's race.) I'm not in great shape to where I'd want to be running a 400-mile race. It's a pretty heavy flu bug. All the guys in the shop had it and I was the last one to get it. I thought I was gonna dodge it but I came down with it about Tuesday (March 18). It's a situation where you just have to make the best of it. We've got Elton Sawyer standing by. He fits the car well and drives it good. The biggest thing is getting enough fluid in me. I think I'll be all right because I've been staying down and in bed all week. The frustrating thing is it's seemed to have stayed with the guys two or three weeks. Right now is probably the best I've felt but I'm still not 100 percent better. It's gone from being a flu bug with aches and pains to a head cold. If that's all it is I think I can handle it because when you get in the car it tends to dry you out.

FAMILY UPDATE: Mark & Pam Wallace, co-owners of the No. 77 Jasper Engines/Federal-Mogul Ford driven by Bobby Hillin, became parents of a baby boy, Hunter Lee Wallace, at about 10 a.m. Saturday. The child was born about six weeks early, so his father, who was at the race track Saturday morning, scrambled to the hospital when he got the call, according to Jasper representative Michael Rompf (Our apologies for confusing Michael with his brother, Mark, in initial note.)

SECOND-TIMER: Warren Flick, president of Kmart Corporation, is attending his second NASCAR Winston Cup Series race of the season at today's TranSouth Financial 400. Flick, who is here with his wife Lynn to root on the No. 37 Kmart/RC Cola Ford of driver Jeremy Mayfield, also attended the season-opening Daytona 500.

DALE EARNHARDT (No. 3 GM Goodwrench Service Chevrolet) -- (According to PR representative J.R. Rhodes, Earnhardt last used a "Champion's Provisional" in October of 1995 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. He finished second. The farthest he's come to win a race is from 31st spot in the spring of 1980 at Atlanta Motor Speedway.)

LARRY McREYNOLDS (Crew chief No. 3 GM Goodwrench Service Chevrolet) -- (Car was next-to-last through inspection.) We made a bunch of changes this morning trying to get ourselves better. We just haven't been right since we unloaded here. We were awfully optimistic about bringing this car here but we've made some more changes, a little bit based on what it told us yesterday and a little bit based on the weather difference today (cooler). (Is this a ground-up Larry McReynolds chassis?) We took a car and converted it. We did the best job we could. The guys have been working their guts out and I guess that's the most disheartening thing. As hard as they've worked, so far the results haven't been there. We're gonna keep working.

DAVID SMITH (Crew chief No. 31 Lowe's Chevrolet) -- (Earnhardt's team car was the last one through the inspection area, at about 12:15 p.m.) I think it might've been a little light. They had to add about five pounds of lead. No big deal.

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jeremy Mayfield , Elton Sawyer