Darlington: Ricky Rudd preview



CHARLOTTE, NC (May 9, 2007) -- This weekend the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series travels to Darlington Raceway for the Dodge Avenger 500. In a busy week, including a postponed race in Richmond followed by two days of testing at Lowe's Motor Speedway, Ricky Rudd and his Snickers® Racing team have learned a lot about their cars which they hope to translate into success on the track at Darlington and for the remainder of the season. Saturday night's race will mark only the second race to take place under the lights for the 2007 season.

Quoting Snickers Driver, Ricky Rudd:

You just spent two full days at Lowe's Motor Speedway testing, how did that go?

"We ended up testing two cars at Lowe's Motor Speedway. Only one of the cars was set-up in qualifying trim, and that one turned out to be the faster of the two. It really felt great to come away from Tuesday evening's final test session with the second-fastest time on the speed charts. I'm really happy with how both cars handled and hopefully we can translate what we learned during the two-day test into our vehicles for the rest of the season."

How are you feeling going into Darlington this weekend?

"Once again we're really not sure what we have (in regards to the car) for this weekend in Darlington. We actually had a great qualifying effort in Richmond considering we didn't quite know what we were going to have there either. We learned from Richmond about what not to do in regards to car set-up. We finally got the front of the car to do what it needs to, we just need to figure out the back of the car now. It's nothing that more testing couldn't help us to figure out. I'm optimistic going into Darlington this weekend, but we won't really know exactly what we have from the car until we actually put it on the track there."

What are the challenges you focus on when you head to Darlington?

"Darlington is just hard to get a hold of the racetrack with your tires. Normally you will start off with sticker tires just to increase your grip, but after a few laps, the tires just don't grip anymore. The Car of Tomorrow is going to be even more of a challenge now because those cars don't use the left-side tires as much as we've grown accustomed to in the standard cars. I really feel that there are going to be a lot of cars this weekend with that "Darlington stripe" on them just because of the tire grip issue. A lot of cars may not have the grip they need going into the turns and that may cause some sliding going in and coming out of the turns, so our main focus this weekend is going to be tire conservation."

-credit: ryr

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Series NASCAR Cup