FORD REPORT CAR-D Food City 500 March 23, 2001 Bristol Motor Speedway 2 RUSTY WALLACE The question for Rusty this weekend is, 'Will history repeat?'...after winning both Bristol races last year with new cars, Rusty is ...
FORD REPORT CAR-D Food City 500
March 23, 2001 Bristol Motor Speedway
2 RUSTY WALLACE
The question for Rusty this weekend is, 'Will history repeat?'...after winning both Bristol races last year with new cars, Rusty is trying the same trick again this weekend...this time it's PC-35, which represents the 35th chassis built completely in-house at Penske South...in last year's Food City 500, Rusty debuted PC-21 and named it 'Bristol' after starting 6th and winning the race...he brought PC-26 for the August night race and sat on the pole before leading 279 of 500 laps and posting his 53rd career win...that car is now known as 'Flash'.
6 MARK MARTIN
Martin comes into this weekend's race in the unfamiliar territory of 23rd place, but this could be the week he turns things around...Why? Martin has two NWC wins and six series poles at Bristol, which ties him Richard Petty for third on the all-time track list behind Cale Yarborough (9) and Rusty Wallace (7)...Martin will be debuting a brand new Taurus this weekend. 7 MIKE WALLACE
The 7 team has struggled of late, but they're hoping to turn it around this weekend with a brand new race car...Wallace said the finishing touches were put on the car Thursday and it will be ready to debut this weekend without benefit of a test or practice session.
11 BRETT BODINE
Bodine qualified 14th for the fall race here at Bristol, but got in a practice accident with Jerry Nadeau and was forced to a backup...that car has been repaired and is back this weekend...in fact, this car has been run at Bristol the last two years and had a 12th-place run in the night race here in '99.
12 JEREMY MAYFIELD
Mayfield ran strong with this car at the tail end of last season, posting a pair of runner-up finishes...the most recent time it raced was at Homestead when Mayfield roared from his 22nd starting spot to finish 2nd...led once for 25 laps in that event...that followed up a 2nd-place run at Charlotte in October... car also sat on the pole at Dover and led much of that racae before the engine failed on lap 229.
17 MATT KENSETH
Kenseth is still looking for his first top 10 of 2001...his best finish to date is a 17th-place showing at Las Vegas...finished 12th in last year's Food City 500 and is hoping chassis No. 13 will mean good luck this weekend...much like Rusty Wallace has done, Kenseth has brought a brand new car to the high banks.
21 ELLIOTT SADLER
The car Sadler will drive this weekend debuted last spring at Martinsville...it finished 29th on that afternoon and didn't reappear until the night race here at Bristol in August...Sadler posted his best NWC finish that night (7th) after qualifying 11th.
26 JIMMY SPENCER
After his season-best fourth-place finish last week at Darlington, Spencer will be looking to continue his climb in the point standings this weekend with car No. 29...this Taurus was solid during the second half of 2000, but this will mark its first appearance in 2001...car posted two top-10 finishes in its three second-half starts last year, including 7th at Martinsville and 9th in the second Pocono race...it's last start came at Phoenix, where Spencer finished 13th.
28 RICKY RUDD
Rudd's crew chief Michael McSwain was smiling in the garage area Friday morning when he mentioned his team had built a brand new car especially for Bristol...Car No. 93 will make it's NWC debut on Sunday, but the real reason for McSwain's smile was that it performed well in a test session here two weeks ago.
32 RICKY CRAVEN
This car hasn't had much luck here at Bristol in its two previous events ...Scott Pruett did not qualify for the spring race and then finished 38th here in August...in between, the car ran at Dover and got involved in a couple of accidents and finished 38th...this will be the first time Craven will get behind the wheel of this car.
66 TODD BODINE
The best description for Bodine's car this week would be to call it the team's concrete car...Darrell Waltrip drove this Taurus in four races last year and they happened to be both Bristol and both Dover events...chassis is labeled No. 05 and this will mark its first 2001 appearance.
77 ROBERT PRESSLEY
The car Pressley will drive this weekend was the workhorse for the 77 team during the first half of 2000, but it hasn't run much since then...car started last season running at Rockingham and Darlington, and then ran at Richmond and Loudon before moving to a back-up role...car's best finish was an 18th-place run at Darlington...this will mark its first start of 2001.
88 DALE JARRETT
"Old Faithful" -- that's the name of this weekend's Taurus as Jarrett looks for two straight wins...the reason this car is named Old Faithful is because it's been so reliable here at Bristol over the last four years...car debuted here in the '97 Goody's 500 and won... followed that with a 3rd and 4th-place finish in both Bristol races in '98 and was 3rd in the '99 Food City 500...finished 21st in this event a year ago and was 9th in the night race.
90 HUT STRICKLIN
The car Stricklin has this week was originally built by former crew chief Tommy Baldwin for the '98 Brickyard 400...it has been converted over to a short-track car since then and will make it's 2001 debut this weekend...it last raced at Darlington in 1999 when Ed Berrier made the race and then blew a tire and finished 39th.
96 ANDY HOUSTON
Houston and his McDonald's crew need some good luck after missing the race last weekend due to fog cancelling qualifying...unfortunately, plans to test here at Bristol were foiled due to rain, so the team comes here this weekend with a brand new car and no track time with it.
97 KURT BUSCH
Busch will be without crew chief Matt Chambers, who was suspended earlier this week by NASCAR for the next two races...even though Chambers won't be present, he will still have an impact since he and Busch were able to work on the car they've brought this weekend during a test session here at Bristol last week...this will mark the car's first 2001 start.
99 JEFF BURTON
Burton will run this particular Taurus for the second time in 2001...he raced it earlier this year at Rockingham where he qualified 5th, but ended up 37th after he hit the wall early in the race...car debuted in The Winston last May at Charlotte and competed in its first points race at Michigan a couple of weeks later and finished 11th...car also had a 10th-place showing in the second Michigan event.