Ford racing Indianapolis car notes

2 RUSTY WALLACE Fresh off his 51st career NWC victory at Pocono -- and a vacation to Italy -- Rusty returns to Indy after posting the fastest time in manufacturer testing...Wallace posted a fast lap of 181.217 mph (49.664 secs) during ...

Fresh off his 51st career NWC victory at Pocono -- and a vacation to Italy -- Rusty returns to Indy after posting the fastest time in manufacturer testing...Wallace posted a fast lap of 181.217 mph (49.664 secs) during the Ford test July 17-18...he posted that speed with car PRS-025, which is the same car he will run this has three races on its resume in '00 -- The Winston, Coca-Cola 600 and Kmart 400 at Michigan.

Martin will look to bounce back from a blown engine at Pocono and 43rd place finish with a new car this weekend...he tested with this car here at Indy a couple of weeks ago and posted the 5th-fastest time among Fords (178.177mph, 50.511 secs), but it did not rank in the top 10 overall...Martin has not won at Indy, which is one of only five tracks he has not posted a victory (Pocono, Loudon, Indy, Homestead, Daytona).

The last time Compton sat in this car was during Ford's Indy test and while the car was fast, it ended up in the wall after blowing a right-front tire...the accident broke two bones in Compton's left wrist, but after racing at Pocono with a cast he comes into this weekend with only a splint...the car has been repaired since the accident with a new front clip and new right-side frame rail and body. 11 BRETT BODINE
Since Mike Hillman came aboard last month at Pocono, Bodine has qualified first round in 4 of 5 races...the only race he didn't make in that stretch was this weekend has had extensive work since it ran last at Michigan in June...had a new body put on prior to the Ford test here last month, and after the test cut off the sides and reworked those areas...had one of his career highlights in the inaugural Brickyard 400 when he finished 2nd to winner Jeff Gordon.

Mayfield figures to be a contender again this weekend because he's running the same car that almost won the race two weeks ago at Pocono...led 4 times for 31 laps in that event and appeared headed for his 3rd win of the season until cutting a tire down on the final lap...ended up limping home actually debuted in The Winston earlier this year and was running up front until losing third gear and being forced out.

Gordon will be attempted to qualify for his first NWC race since Daytona, where he did not make the field...has taken the last two races off in order to prepare for this month...crew chief Jerry Baxter said the team has been to the wind tunnel twice with this car, in addition to having one day of testing here at the Brickyard...this is the same car Gordon ran to a 28th-place finish at Michigan...the last race he qualified for was at Sears Point, where he finished a season-high ninth.

Team has struggled of late and hasn't posted a top-20 finish since a 15th at Michigan in June...Lepage hopes to turn his fortunes around with a brand new car this weekend.

The leader in rookie points coming into the weekend has a car he's quite familiar with...has driven it three times in '00 (California, Michigan and first Pocono), in addition to testing it here last month...posted the 3rd-fastest time in the two-day Ford test...appeared headed to victory with this car at California until a late-race caution took away his lead and a four-tire stop caused him to lose track position...still managed to work his way back to 3rd.

Sadler will be piloting a brand new car this weekend as he searches for some good luck and consistency...has three top-20 runs in the last five races, but is coming off a mechanical problem at Pocono that relegated him to 29th...tested this car last month and had the 10th fastest overall time with a speed of 179.184 mph (50.227 secs).

Spencer hopes to continue his momentum from Pocono, where he secured a 9th-place finish in front of his hometown fans...has raced this car only once in 2000 with that coming in The Winston Open at tested the car here last month and posted the 6th-fastest Ford speed at 178.899 mph (50.307 secs).

Rudd has finished in the top five in 6 of the last 9 races, including a 3rd-place run here at Pocono last month...will race the same car he had in that event this weekend as he looks for his first win with RYR...Rudd knows this car extremely well because it was part of his fleet last year when he was driver/owner of the 10 car...this will mark the car's 3rd race of '00 after running 22nd at Martinsville (was spun during late stages) and 3rd raced a great deal down the stretch in '99 (Martinsville, Loudon, Richmond, Darlington, Phoenix and Homestead).

Pruett will be making his first return to Indy since '95 when he raced in the Indianapolis 500...will have the same car he drove at Michigan, where he qualified 16th and finished 19th...that matched his best effort of the year (Daytona 500)...this will mark Brad Parrott's third race as crew chief.

Waltrip will have to make his way into the field this weekend on speed since he used his final provisional two weeks ago at Pocono...he will not be eligible for another one until Darlington...had the 6th-fastest speed with this car on the final day of Ford has raced at Las Vegas and The Winston, but did not qualify for the race at Michigan.

Dallenbach will be sitting in the very first car completed by the Galaxy Motorsports team...GMS #1 will debut this weekend and crew chief Newt Moore is optimistic about this weekend after the car posted good numbers in the wind tunnel and had the fourth-fastest time on the second day of Ford testing. 77 ROBERT PRESSLEY
Pressley has one top-five and three top-15s in the last six races as he continues to hold down the 24th spot in the standings...he has been in the top 25 since Michigan after finishing 39th last season...has a car this weekend which competed in The Winston Open and Indy test session...had the 8th-fastest time on day two with all Ford teams. 88 DALE JARRETT
Jarrett moved into second-place in the standings after a 4th-place showing at Pocono two weeks ago...he sets his sights on Bobby Labonte at a track he has dominated...won last year's race by leading 4 times for a race-high 117 laps...took the lead for the final time on lap 118 and never gave it up...will have the same car this year that won that competed earlier this year at California and finished 9th, but since then he has rattled off 7 top-five finishes in the last 9 races...has had a lot of testing experience at Indy this year, participating in both the Ford manufacturer's test and Goodyear tire test with Bobby Labonte.

Car owner Junie Donlavey has overhauled his team as driver Ed Berrier and crew chief Dean Johnson were let go last week...Hut Stricklin, who has driven for Donlavey in the past, will be behind the wheel this weekend...he will be driving a car that is relatively new in that it had a new body put on a couple of weeks tested here and was 17th on the final day.

Elliott has been plagued by a number of mechanical problems recently and has finished 30th or worse in four of the last five races...hopes to change his luck with the car named "Hot Rod Harry" has not raced since Michigan in June when Elliott finished has also raced at Charlotte and California.

Little had finished in the top 20 three times in the last five races to maintain a 21st-place position in the point standings...will have a brand new car and brand new John Deere logo on the hood this tested with other Ford teams last month and was 10th-fastest on the final day. 99 JEFF BURTON
Burton is coming off a second-place finish at Pocono two weeks ago and jumped from seventh to fourth in the point standings as a result...will have a brand new car here at Indy this weekend...tested with other Ford teams in July and had the 8th-fastest time overall, including GM teams... had a speed of 179.231 mph (50.214 secs).

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jeff Gordon , Bobby Labonte , Hut Stricklin , Ed Berrier , John Dean