Ford Racing Charlotte car report

2 RUSTY WALLACE The first time "Mad Max" came to Charlotte was this past May for the Coca-Cola 600, but back then it was known simply as PC-25...finished 8th that evening, but proved to be particularly strong two months later at Indy...led...

2 RUSTY WALLACE The first time "Mad Max" came to Charlotte was this past May for the Coca-Cola 600, but back then it was known simply as PC-25...finished 8th that evening, but proved to be particularly strong two months later at Indy...led the most laps that day, but finished second...bounced back two weeks later to win at Michigan, where Rusty provided the new name.

6 MARK MARTIN Martin is coming off a disappointing Martinsville run in which he finished 18th...this week he will be running a brand new car...team has not tested or practiced this particular car prior to Wednesday's practice session...looking to rebound from a bad break at Charlotte in May when he lost a cylinder with 44 laps to go.

9 STACY COMPTON Melling Racing made a change this week with the departure of crew chief Jerry Pitts...the man making the decisions this week will be Skip Pope, who has been the team's engineer all season...Pope says he's only doing this on an interim basis while the search for a permanent replacement proceeds...the car Compton will drive this week last ran at Dover, where he started 39th and finished 29th.

11 BRETT BODINE Bodine was running in the top 15 last week until his engine gave way and put him 41st...will run his favorite car this weekend, known as car No. 9...ran as recently as Michigan almost two months ago, but suffered a similar fate as an engine blew after only 23 laps...car tested here at Charlotte two weeks ago and he came away with the fastest time of those who tested.

12 JEREMY MAYFIELD Mayfield will be looking to snap a string of bad luck, which continued last week at Martinsville when he was forced out due to exhaust fumes...Hut Stricklin drove relief and ended up with a 38th-place finish...Mayfield figures to be a favorite this week considering he has the same car that sat on the pole and led much of the race at Dover two weeks ago...led 80 laps and was a threat to win until a valve broke in the engine and forced him out of the race on lap 229.

13 ROBBY GORDON The last race Gordon competed in was five weeks ago at Bristol when he finished 41st...team has done extensive work on this car, including wind tunnel and on-track testing...team was at Kentucky Speedway last Thursday and Friday working with the car while the rest of the series was at Martinsville.

16 KEVIN LEPAGE This is most likely Lepage's favorite car because he seems to run it almost every week...ran in this race a year ago and he posted a 9th-place finish...known as JR-95, Lepage also drove it in the Coca-Cola 600 in May and qualified 6th (finished 15th)...car also has both Pocono races, Rockingham and Atlanta to its credit this season.

17 MATT KENSETH Kenseth will try to solidify his lead in the rookie standings by running the same car he had here at Charlotte in May...if you recall, the car ended up being pretty good as Kenseth passed Bobby Labonte with 25 laps to go and posted the first victory of his NWC career...the last time this car ran was at Darlington on Labor Day weekend when it got involved in an accident and finished 33rd.

21 ELLIOTT SADLER Sadler will be running the orange Citgo colors the rest of this season before switching over to the red Motorcraft brand next season...the team announced the new sponsorship Wednesday morning...the switch will hopefully improve Sadler's luck, which continued on a downside last week at Martinsville...got the last provisional spot and finished 32nd...this car is brand new and tested two weeks ago here at Charlotte...it's the third Roush chassis the team has run since announcing its alliance with that group earlier this year.

26 JIMMY SPENCER Spencer had one of his most impressive runs of the season last week at Martinsville as he started 25th and finished 7th...that marked his fourth top-10 effort of the year...has the same car he drove at Michigan and Darlington the second half of the season...his best effort in those two races came at Michigan where he also finished 7th.

28 RICKY RUDD This has been a solid car for RYR the last few years...Rudd ran this in both Michigan races, Indy, Charlotte and California...car sat on the pole at Indy...appeared headed for victory in the second Michigan race until a late caution enabled the field to catch up...eventually finished 2nd on that day...it's also the same car Kenny Irwin used to capture his second NWC pole at Texas last season.

32 SCOTT PRUETT Pruett will try to rebound from missing last week's race at Martinsville with a different paint scheme...carrying "Give the Kids the World" charity on the hood this week...has the same car he ran at Darlington last month where he finished 24th...car also ran at Indy and finished a career-best 10th...crew chief Brad Parrott is not at the track this weekend....Scott Houston, Andy's brother, will handle crew chief duties this week.

66 DARRELL WALTRIP Waltrip might be someone to watch this weekend because he's brought the same car that sat on the outside pole at Indianapolis in August...Waltrip is tied for the most wins at Lowe's with Bobby Allison as each have six...DW, however, posted five of those in the Coca-Cola 600.

75 WALLY DALLENBACH TBS Dinner & A Movie will adorn the hood this week for Dallenbach as he tries to put last week's 40th-place finish behind him...the car he has this week ran at Michigan two months ago...car was built brand new for Indy and was fifth-fastest in happy hour.

77 ROBERT PRESSLEY Pressley has had a rough stretch as well the past two months...this car suffered some bad luck in its last start at Michigan when it blew an engine and finished 32nd...car also ran at California and finished 21st and here at Charlotte in May and ran 26th. 85 CARL LONG Carl Long surprised everyone when he made the Coca-Cola 600 in May and he's back with the same car that qualified 35th...Darrell Waltrip started the race and Long finished after a mid-race rain delay...this car also ran at Dover, where Long wrecked during qualifying, and also at Michigan, where he failed to make the field.

88 DALE JARRETT Jarrett ran this car a couple of times in the first half of the season...ran at Darlington and finished 2nd to Ward Burton...then used it in The Winston and Coca-Cola 600, where he finished fifth...the last time this car hit the track was at Michigan two months ago when it qualified 2nd and finished 4th.

90 HUT STRICKLIN Stricklin will be trying to make the field with a car affectionately called "Dingbell" in honor of shop foreman Ken Bell...car ran at Dover the first time around when Ed Berrier was behind the wheel and finished 41st.

94 BILL ELLIOTT Elliott is down to only one crutch after fracturing his left kneecap the week of the Bristol race in August...in the four races he has run since the injury, Elliott has posted a pair of top-15 efforts (Richmond-12th, and Martinsville-15th)...Elliott has a brand new car to run this weekend.

96 ANDY HOUSTON Houston will be trying to qualify for his second career NWC event...has the same car he ran so strongly with at Michigan in his Cup debut...even though the records show a 35th-place finish, he was running in the top 10 until his motor blew 44 laps from the finish...team tested here at Charlotte, in addition to testing last week at Phoenix...after this race, the team has plans to test at Rockingham next week and Homestead the following week as Houston competes in four of the final six events.

97 KURT BUSCH Busch will be making his third career NWC start this weekend after finishing 18th at Dover and 37th at Martinsville...will be racing the same car Chad Little drove at Michigan in August...the only other time it has raced came at Indianapolis.

98 JEFF FULLER MacPherson Motorsports will try to make its debut this weekend with driver Jeff Fuller and crew chief Vic Kangas...Fuller will be driving a car that was part of Cale Yarborough's fleet last year...this will be the team's only race of the season because Fuller made six starts earlier this year with the No. 27 Viagra Pontiac.

99 JEFF BURTON Burton has a new sponsor and paint scheme this week as Citgo will finish out the year with the 99 car...the team announced its new sponsor Tuesday in Charlotte...while the car has a new look, it's actually the same piece that ran at Indianapolis and Darlington the second half of the season...Burton qualified 33rd but finished 6th in the Brickyard and finished 10th a couple of weeks later at Michigan.

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Ward Burton , Darrell Waltrip , Bobby Labonte , Jeff Fuller , Ed Berrier , Carl Long , Bobby Allison , Cale Yarborough