Michigan Ford Racing car report

June 8, 2001 Michigan International Speedway Here are some notes on Ford teams and the cars they will be running this weekend: 2 RUSTY WALLACE Rusty will drive "Mad Max" for the fifth time this season...the duo will be looking for their ...

June 8, 2001 Michigan International Speedway

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

Rusty will drive "Mad Max" for the fifth time this season...the duo will be looking for their second win of the season and third overall..."Mad Max" debuted in last year's Coca-Cola 600 and finished 8th... earned its name after winning at Michigan in August and solidified its reputation as a top-flight Taurus after winning at California two months ago...this will be the car's 10th all-time start and has six top-10 finishes...in four previous starts this year, "Mad Max" has one victory, two 12th-place efforts (Atlanta and Texas) and a 14th-place showing its last time out at Charlotte.

Martin is the only driver who has led at least one lap in every race this season, but he is still looking for his first win...will have one of the newer cars in his fleet this weekend as he runs JR-91, which debuted at Charlotte last month...car competed in The Winston and finished 9th in the first segment and 5th in the second...came back in the Coca-Cola 600 and finished 4th, which equalled his season's best effort.

Wallace will be driving this particular Taurus for the third time in 2001...car debuted earlier this year at Texas and qualified 22nd (finished 24th)...came back at California and finished 16th after qualifying 36th.

Bodine has brought the car that set the track qualifying record at Indianapolis last year...ran a time of 49.704 seconds (181.072 mph) in second-round qualifying...ran the car at California in April of this year and had a strong qualifying run...started that race 12th and finished 27th.

Mayfield figures to be a contender this weekend because he's got one of his favorite cars...this is car #9, the same piece that won at California last year...car is actually a couple of years old and is the same one that was involved in an accident at Indy in '98...car sat covered up behind the team's race shop for a few weeks until then-crew chief Paul Andrews had it put back together...since then it has been one of the fleet's best pieces...last raced at Charlotte a couple of weeks ago and finished 10th...was headed for a top-five finish until running out of gas on the final lap.

Kenseth will be running this car for the second time in the last month...raced in the Coca-Cola 600 and finished 18th...this is the same car that won last year's 600 when Kenseth passed Bobby Labonte with 25 laps remaining to post his only NWC win...this will be the car's third start in 2001...made its first appearance of the season in Atlanta, where Kenseth finished 37th after developing engine problems.

Sadler will be driving one of the newest cars in the Wood Brothers fleet...car debuted at California and finished 23rd...team actually tested this car here at Michigan the day after the Martinsville race in April...this is a Roush-built car, which is part of the team's alliance with Roush Racing.

Spencer has had good success with this particular car...raced a couple of weeks ago at Charlotte and had a top-10 weekend -- qualified 5th and finished 6th...also ran the car at California, qualifying 9th and finishing 7th after leading twice for 37 laps...only other time Spencer drove the car in '01 was at Darlington, where he posted a season-high 4th-place finish ...car debuted at Charlotte in October (started 5th/finished 15th).

Rudd was on his way to victory here at Michigan in August when a late caution flag came out and forced a final round of pit stops...ended up finishing 2nd to Rusty Wallace that day...had a similar situation at Charlotte in October with this car as he led with 29 laps to go when a debris caution brought the field back together (finished 3rd)...last time he drove this car was at California, where he started and finished 6th.

Fresh off of his fourth-place run at Dover last weekend, Craven looks to keep his momentum going with a car he hasn't run before...car was actually built last year, but this will be it's first race of '01...Craven tested it at Kentucky a couple of weeks ago and has high hopes for Sunday.

Bodine has run this car once and had his best weekend of the season... qualified 6th and then led three times for 44 laps until ultimately finishing 5th...car was actually built for Darrell Waltrip for the '99 Brickyard 400 and has competed on a regular basis the last two years.

Pressley debuted this car as a brand new piece a few weeks ago in The Winston Open and had an impressive debut...finished 5th in the Open and 3rd in the No Bull Sprint, but led briefly during the opening laps of the final 16-lap dash...as a result of that performance, the Jasper team brought the car back for the Coca-Cola 600 and finished 38th after being involved in an accident.

Robinson will be trying to become the first female to start a NWC event since Patty Moise took the gren flag at Talladega on July 30, 1989...this will be her second attempt at making the Cup field this year...her first attempt came at California in April, but a mechanical failure on her qualifying run kept her out of the race...has a car that was part of the Penske-Kranefuss stable a couple of years ago...Jeremy Mayfield drove this car at Martinsville in '99 and it's the sister car to the one he won with at Pocono in '98.

This car was brand new for the Las Vegas race in March and it came out of the box quickly...sat on the pole for that event and ran strong all day before finishing 2nd to Jeff Gordon...car has been sitting in the race shop ever since.

Stricklin had his second-best finish of the season in this car a couple of weeks ago when he ran 16th in the Coca-Cola 600...car actually debuted a week earlier in The Winston Open and finished 17th.

The car Houston will run this weekend is rapidly becoming the most dependable in the fleet...this will be the fourth time this car has run in '01, following up on starts at Atlanta, Texas, California and Charlotte...best finish in those races came at California (19th), but Houston qualified well at Charlotte (14th) before engine trouble placed him 41st...this is the first in-house chassis built at PPI.

Busch had nowhere to go last weekend at Dover when he got caught up in an early-race accident...he'll try to change his luck this weekend with a new car that will be racing for the first time.

Burton has car #28 this weekend and he's hoping for the same success the last time it ran...won the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte with this car, but that's not the only time that Taurus has visited Victory Lane...won the No Bull 5 bonus at Las Vegas in 2000 and is the same car that led wire-to-wire at Loudon...car actually made its debut at Charlotte in '99, but was involved in an accident in The Winston and never made it to the 600.

Newman has had great success with this particular car, which has been dubbed "Patience"...sat on the pole with this car for the Coca-Cola 600, but spun and hit the wall early and finished 43rd...car also appeared to have The Winston Open locked up, but a blown engine with three laps remaining ended his night...this is also the same car he set the Lowe's Motor Speedway track qualifying record with in an ARCA race last year...Newman won that event and named the car "Patience" in victory lane afterwards...made his NWC debut with this car earlier in the year at Las Vegas and finished 33rd.

-Ford Racing-

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jeff Gordon , Darrell Waltrip , Bobby Labonte , Jeremy Mayfield , Rusty Wallace