Las Vegas: Ricky Rudd preview

Snickers Team Looks To Win Big In Vegas CHARLOTTE, NC (March 6, 2007) -- This weekend the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series travels to Las Vegas Motor Speedway (LVMS) for Sunday's UAW-DiamlerChrysler 400. After a successful test session at Las Vegas ...

Snickers Team Looks To Win Big In Vegas

CHARLOTTE, NC (March 6, 2007) -- This weekend the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series travels to Las Vegas Motor Speedway (LVMS) for Sunday's UAW-DiamlerChrysler 400. After a successful test session at Las Vegas in late January, Ricky Rudd and his Snickers team hope that "Lady Luck" smiles upon them even with the onslaught of new racing conditions teams will be dealing with at the newly renovated track.

New banking at Las Vegas, along with a new tire compound from Goodyear, presents a series of new challenges for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series teams this weekend. What used to be a flat 1.5-mile track now features 20 degrees of banking in the turns. In addition to the changes to the track and the tire compound teams will also have to contend with smaller fuel cells as mandated by NASCAR. Teams are required to use a 13-gallon fuel cell as opposed to the typical 22-gallon fuel cells used at the down force tracks. As a result, pit strategy will most likely become a factor during this weekend's 400-mile race.

Quoting Snickers Driver Ricky Rudd:

What are your feelings heading into Las Vegas this weekend?

"During our test session in Vegas we were really good on the speed charts with the qualifying trim and the race trim. We did a lot of long runs during the two days and we felt like we were ready. We got back to the shop and felt very confident and prepared. Now it's a big question as to what to expect for this weekend. Everything is going to depend on how drastic the tire compound change is as to how that's going to change a car's handling."

"I like the track at Las Vegas. It's a great race track. The new banking makes it a lot better and I think it's going to make for a better race overall. It used to be a fast, flat track, and now with the added banking, I think it has similar conditions as before but it just got a little faster. It will be interested to see how everyone sets up their cars this week with all the changes but I'm sure it'll be exciting."

What were your thoughts on the Car of Tomorrow test at Bristol last week?

"We're probably 80 percent of where we need to be. We know we still have some work to do but we feel like we're close and we at least have a direction now. We've kind of isolated the areas where we need to improve but we should be better when we get back to Bristol towards the end of the month."

NOTES OF INTEREST:

* Ricky Rudd has competed in eight of the nine NASCAR Nextel Cup Series events that have taken place at Las Vegas Motor Speedway since the series started racing there in 1998. Rudd finished 12th in the track's inaugural race in 1998.

* Rudd's best finishes at Las Vegas is a pair of 12th-place finishes he scored. He finished 12th in 1998 while driving the #10 Ford. He finished 12th again during the track's race in 2000 while driving the #28 Texaco Havoline Ford.

* Rudd's best start at Las Vegas to date is when he won the pole position for the event in 2000.

* There are ten tracks on the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series schedule at which Rudd has yet to win a race. Las Vegas Motor Speedway is one of those ten tracks.

* Las Vegas is the only track on the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series schedule in which Rudd has yet to score a top-10 finish.

-credit: ryr

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series NASCAR Cup