Michigan II Ricky Rudd qualifying press conference

RICKY RUDD: 28-Texaco/Havoline Taurus HOW MUCH FURTHER AWAY DOES POINTS LEADER JEFF GORDON LOOK TO YOU AND YOUR ROBERT YATES TEAMMATE, DALE JARRETT, AS OPPOSED TO A COUPLE OF WEEKS AGO? "We were close and then all of a sudden this big gap, why...

RICKY RUDD: 28-Texaco/Havoline Taurus

HOW MUCH FURTHER AWAY DOES POINTS LEADER JEFF GORDON LOOK TO YOU AND YOUR ROBERT YATES TEAMMATE, DALE JARRETT, AS OPPOSED TO A COUPLE OF WEEKS AGO?

"We were close and then all of a sudden this big gap, why is that? Pretty much broke and he didn't. There's a long way to go. If we have to race each other the rest of the year, we're not going to beat him based on just trying to play catch-up. Thirteen races left, he's gonna have mechanical trouble, we are, Jeff's gonna have trouble. The idea is who has the least amount of trouble is the guy that wins the championship. Plus, Jeff has been pretty much out-running us every week. Those are like five-point spreads, 10-point deals, that kind of nip at you, but then the big point losers or big point gainers are when one of the other guys falls out and finishes 39th or 40th."

IS IT LESS IMPORTANT TO START UP FRONT AT A TRACK LIKE THIS?

"Michigan is a wide race track and it seems like you can come up through here easier than you can, say, at Indianapolis. I used to say that about Pocono, and then you get in this week and you here them talk about aero push, aero push. But, this track is wide enough here that if your car is good, you can generally stay out of the disturbed air of the cars in front of you - once you get out there and you get racing single file. So, I would say it's a little less important here than it is at other tracks. Certainly, the extreme opposite of this track would be somewhere like Bristol, Tennessee. I would much rather have a poor qualifying spot here than I would at Bristol."

-Ford Racing

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Series NASCAR Cup