RUDD TRAVELS HOME TO VIRGINIA AND HOPES TO RACE SUNDAY AT MARTINSVILLE CHARLOTTE, NC (October 16, 2007) -- The NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series travels to Martinsville Speedway this weekend for the Subway 500. Martinsville Speedway is one of the...
RUDD TRAVELS HOME TO VIRGINIA AND HOPES TO RACE SUNDAY AT MARTINSVILLE
CHARLOTTE, NC (October 16, 2007) -- The NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series travels to Martinsville Speedway this weekend for the Subway 500. Martinsville Speedway is one of the most physically demanding tracks on the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series circuit. The 0.526-mile "paperclip"-shaped speedway forces drivers to do a lot of work in the car since drivers must focus on braking into the tight turns. Ricky Rudd will travel to his home state of Virginia with the hopes of racing in Sunday's Subway 500. Rudd sustained a separated shoulder at California Speedway and was forced to sit out for five weeks as he recovered. Rudd returned to the driver's seat of the #88 Ford at Charlotte for the Bank of America 500, and hopes that the physical demands of practicing at Martinsville Speedway won't be painful enough on his shoulder to keep him out of the driver's seat for Sunday's race. This weekend Rudd will be driving the #88 Combos Ford Fusion instead of the Snickers paint scheme he normally drives.
Quoting Combos Driver, Ricky Rudd:
How is your shoulder feeling after this past weekend and what are your plans for Martinsville?
"As far as this weekend is concerned, I won't really know my status with my shoulder until we get to Martinsville and I have the chance to practice. I really didn't have any issues in Charlotte this past weekend. I had some pain and soreness, but it wasn't anything that I couldn't deal with. Going to Martinsville this weekend, it's a more aggressive race track and I don't want to get into the situation where we have to change drivers in the middle of the race because I know we'd end up falling behind about two or three laps if we did so. So my plan for this weekend is to go to Martinsville, practice, and if my shoulder feels good, then I will continue on to qualify and race the #88 Combos Ford."
What is it about Martinsville Speedway that makes it such a physically demanding track on drivers?
"You get a lot of brake load at Martinsville which means that you get pushed into your seat while you're in the car. Drivers are just very busy in the car there as well. You have to use your leg a lot with all the times a driver has to use the brakes and you can equate that to leg lifts and the feeling of having weights at the end of them. When you go to Martinsville and have 500 laps to run there, it is just a track that wears you down physically. I think that part of it has to do with how hot you get inside of the cars and just all the moving around you have to do in order to stay in control of your car during the race."
After a solid finish at Charlotte last weekend, how confident are you going into Martinsville this weekend?
"Martinsville is a great track and I really enjoy racing there. I've been fortunate enough to have won three times at Martinsville and we had one of our best runs this season when we were there earlier in the year. I feel very confident with our crew chief Cully Barraclaugh because he has done an excellent job on sorting through information we have on the car's performance. Cully does a great job communicating with me on race day when we have to tweak the car and I just really enjoy working with him so far."