Ford Racing Phoenix report card

Ford Report Car-D Checker Auto Parts 500K Phoenix International Raceway Here are some notes on Ford teams and the cars they will be running this weekend: 2 RUSTY WALLACE Rusty figures to be a contender this weekend as he brings PC-34 ...

Ford Report Car-D
Checker Auto Parts 500K
Phoenix International Raceway

Here are some notes on Ford teams and the cars they will be running this weekend:

Rusty figures to be a contender this weekend as he brings PC-34 to was built this season and debuted in May at The Winston in sat on the pole for that event, but it's first points race came at Pocono in June...Rusty qualified and finished 16th in that Pocono race, but caught a bad break and lost a lap when the caution came out while's last start came a month ago at Kansas, where Rusty led three times for a race-high 118 laps...he held the lead coming into the final round of pit stops, but NASCAR said he was speeding coming off pit road and sent him to the end of the longest line...the result was a 4th-place finish.

Martin and his Pfizer team seem to have found their stride the last month...they come into this week's event riding a streak of four straight top-10 finishes, including a 7th at Martinsville and a 9th at Talladega... Martin will be sporting a brand new car this's only on-track appearance came at Homestead last week during a test session.

This will mark the sixth race for this particular car in 2001...Mike Wallace debuted the piece at Texas (finished 24th) and then raced it to a 16th-place finish at California...the last time Wallace drove the car was at Darlington on Labor Day weekend when he started 39th and drove all the way to a 12th-place finish.

Bodine has had some success with this car, which normally runs on short tracks or flat surfaces...had two top-20 finishes last year at Phoenix and Homestead with this Taurus...has run it four times in 2001 -- Las Vegas (38th), Martinsville (36th), Richmond (39th) and Loudon (13th)...finished 20th with this car here at Phoenix a year ago.

Wallace is off to a good start since debuting with the 12 team at Charlotte a few weeks ago...he'll have a brand new car this weekend, a Taurus that crew chief Peter Sospenzo said has never tested or been on a race track prior to Friday's practice session.

Kenseth and crew chief Robbie Reiser have decided to bring car #10 to Phoenix this weekend...even though this isn't a new piece, Reiser said it's the first time the car will race this season...Kenseth is hoping for better luck than a year ago here when he was involved in an accident and was forced to retire after only 53 laps (finished 42nd).

Sadler ran this Roush-built car for the first time at Richmond last month when he was eligible for the No Bull 5 bonus...was having a solid night when he got hit from behind and suffered some body was able to make repairs, but finished 31st and 36 laps down to winner Ricky Rudd...its only other start came a couple of weeks ago at Martinsville, where Sadler posted a 17th-place effort and finished on the lead lap.

Spencer will be driving one of the newer cars in the Travis Carter fleet this weekend and one that has proven to be pretty strong...this Taurus debuted at the Brickyard 400 in August and promptly sat on the pole with Spencer eventually finishing 13th in the race...its only other start came last month at Kansas when Spencer qualified 14th and finished 22nd.

Rudd has also had a great deal of success with the car he will race on debuted a year ago here at Phoenix and Rudd appeared headed toward victory until getting swept up in an accident with a lapped car in the final 20 returned at Homestead and finished 6th after starting 2nd... this Taurus made its 2001 debut at Richmond and qualified 3rd before finishing 5th...its last start came at Loudon and finished 3rd.

Craven will be driving a car that at one time belonged to former teammate Andy Houston...Houston actually raced this car at Richmond in the spring and, even though he qualified 34th with it, he ran well during the race...eventually got involved in an accident that led to an engine failure and a 42nd-place finish...Craven drove it for the first time in the fall race at Richmond and ended up 11th.

Bodine would like to have the same kind of luck this time with this piece as he had last time...this is the same car that sat on the pole at Martinsville a couple of weeks ago and finished 12th...that was much different than when the car debuted at Martinsville for the spring race...qualified 12th, but engine problems limited his day to just 12 laps and a 43rd-place finish...has run three times since then, finishing 30th at Richmond, 15th at Loudon and 12th at Martinsville.

The car Pressley has this weekend actually debuted about this time last made its debut at Rockingham in the fall and finished 12th, and then brought it here to Phoenix and qualified 3rd (finished 31st)...this car ran earlier in the year at Rockingham and finished 12th.

Jarrett has posted four wins so far this season and two of them have been with this particular Taurus...Jarrett won his first NWC win at Martinsville in the spring and ended up in victory lane again at Loudon in July...besides those two wins, the car's only other two races came at Richmond, where Jarrett finished 15th, and Martinsville, where he was 2nd.

Rick Mast will make his debut in the 90 car this weekend after Hut Stricklin was let go earlier in the week by car owner Junie Donlavey...Mast attempted to qualify in a second Donlavey car last week at Talladega, but did not make the field...he'll have the same car Stricklin drove to a 35th-place finish at Loudon in was forced to the garage after ignition problems on lap 256.

Busch and his team had this Taurus ready to go for the Loudon race in September, but the postponed pushed the car's debut back to this weekend ...crew chief Ben Leslie said the car has been involved in a couple of test sessions, but this will be its first race weekend.

Burton will drive this particular car for the sixth time this season...led for a 128-lap stretch at Martinsville before surrendering the lead to Ricky Rudd and finishing 3rd...Burton finished 14th with this piece at Richmond in the spring and then finished 11th at Loudon...Burton qualified this car 4th at fall Richmond racedand finished's last appearance came a couple of weeks ago at Martinsville and resulted in a 5th-place effort.

Newman came out here a couple of weeks ago to test and lost his primary car in an accident...pulled out the backup and that's the piece they're going to use this weekend (PRS-011) actually has experience here at PIR since it's the same piece Newman to qualify 10th with last year...had engine problems, however, and ended up 41st after completing only 176 laps.

-Ford Racing-

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Andy Houston , Rick Mast