2 RUSTY WALLACE Returns to one of his favorite tracks, one in which he is tied with DW for most wins among active drivers with 6...having a strong campaign thus far with 2 poles (Rockingham and Martinsville), 1 win (Bristol), 5 top-10 and ...
2 RUSTY WALLACE
Returns to one of his favorite tracks, one in which he is tied with DW for most wins among active drivers with 6...having a strong campaign thus far with 2 poles (Rockingham and Martinsville), 1 win (Bristol), 5 top-10 and 3 top-5 efforts...has led the most laps of any driver in 2000 with 525...that's 215 more than second-place Ward Burton (310)...Rusty's car this week is PC-20, which sat on the pole at Martinsville...dominated the entire race even after losing 2 laps to a flat tire...led 5 times for a race-high 393 laps in the 500-lap feature...pitted in the late stages for 4 tires, but couldn't work his way back through the field and finished 10th.
6 MARK MARTIN
Martin comes into this weekend just 20 points behind Bobby Labonte in the NWC standings...has one win this year (Martinsville), which tied him for 17th-place on the all-time NWC win list at 32 with the late Fireball Roberts ...all of his 32 wins have been in a Ford, ranking him 3rd behind Ned Jarrett (43) and Bill Elliott (40) on the all-time Ford win list...has completed 543.57 miles in 2000, which is more than any other driver...won with this car at Martinsville earlier this year when he stayed out on the track and did not pit with 65 laps to go...it's also the same car he finished 2nd with here at Richmond last year in this race.
9 STACY COMPTON
Has qualified for all 10 races this season, but is still looking for his first top 20 finish...has been strong in qualifying of late, making the field in first round four straight races...coming off the best NWC qualifying effort of his career when he started 8th in last week's NAPA Auto Parts 500...that also marked his first top-10 start since joining Winston Cup late last year...will be driving the same car he ran at Texas and Atlanta, where he finished 36th and 35th, respectively.
11 BRETT BODINE
Has qualified for six of the last seven races with Talladega being the only race he has missed in that stretch... coming off a 41st-place finish last week at California after encountering brake problems...hopes to have similar success at this short track because his best qualifying effort of the year came at another short track a couple of weeks ago when he started 4th at Martinsville...will be running the same car he had last week at California.
12 JEREMY MAYFIELD
Will be without crew chief Peter Sospenzo, who was suspended by NASCAR until June 6 for rules violations at Talladega...Buddy Sisco will be responsible for those duties on a temporary basis until Sospenzo returns ...Cisco is the shop manager for Penske-Kranefuss Racing...Mayfield has been on a hot streak of late with four top-10 finishes in the last five races, including his win last week at California...has a car that will be making its first start of 2000, but it ran exclusively at Richmond and Martinsville last year.
13 ROBBY GORDON
Gordon will look to make a points move with the same car he raced at Bristol and finished 32nd...this will mark the team's third race with Yates Engines after running Pro Motors the first 8 weeks...running a Flintstones paint for the final time this weekend after it debuted last weekend.
16 KEVIN LEPAGE
Got back on track last weekend at California after missing the Talladega race...finished 22nd after starting 40th....despite missing one race, he still has more points than 4 other drivers who have competed in all 10 events to date...qualified in top 5 at Atlanta (5th) and Darlington (2nd) and had his best weekend of the season at Texas where he qualified 2nd and finished 5th...will be racing the same car he had at Bristol when he finished 30th...car was actually part of Johnny Benson's fleet last year when he ran the No. 26 Cheerios Taurus.
17 MATT KENSETH
The current leader in the NWC rookie battle appeared headed to his first series victory last week, but a series of late cautions and a four-tire pit stop ended up working against him and he settled for a career-best third-place showing...led a race-high 120 laps and had a comfortable advantage until a caution with 30 laps to go took it away...leads Dale Earnhardt, Jr. by 11 points coming into this weekend's race...has a pair of top-10 finishes in 2000 (3rd at California and 6th at Darlington)...driving a new car this weekend.
21 ELLIOTT SADLER
Looking to turn around season of bad luck...had a freak engine failure last week at California and finished 43rd...did not qualify for the race at Talladega, the first race he has missed in his short NWC career...that came on the heels of a freak injury at Texas in which a shredded tire came up through the floorboard and caused a severe laceration on his left shoulder...team traveled to Radford, Va., and tested at the New River Valley Speedway on Wednesday with a brand new car that will debut this weekend.
26 JIMMY SPENCER
Spencer went from the high of qualifying on the outside pole last week at California and running in the top 10 most of the day to the low of finishing 40th after hitting the wall with only 31 laps remaining...that cost him three spots in the standings as he fell from a season-high 20th to 23rd...despite that temporary setback, team has seemingly found its stride after a season-best fifth-place showing at Talladega...driving a car that has not raced this season.
28 RICKY RUDD
Coming off his best finish of the season last week at California when he finished fourth...that was his third top-10 effort of 2000 and moved him back into the top 10 in the point standings ...comes into the weekend ninth only 20 points behind Rusty Wallace for eighth...a year ago at this time Rudd was 37th in the standings ... Rudd will be driving the same car he had at Martinsville, which happens to be one of the cars he brought over from his own operation last year...got as high as 2nd at Martinsville, but was spun in turn four and took away any chance at a win.
32 SCOTT PRUETT
Pruett will have a new crew chief this weekend after Doug Richert was released earlier in the week ...former Bill Elliott crew chief Joe Garone will take over on an interim basis while a search for a full-time replacement continues...Garone also serves in the role of program manager for PPI... Pruett comes into the weekend having made 7 of the 10 races this season, but qualifying has been a case of feast or famine...has qualified in first round 6 times (including the outside pole in Atlanta and 3rd spot at Texas)...led for the first time in his NWC career at Texas when he moved to the front on lap 4 and held it until lap 17...despite being spun a couple of times at Martinsville, team has made repairs and will run it this weekend.
66 DARRELL WALTRIP
Even though Waltrip is out of provisionals until Sears Point, it doesn't seem to bother him...he has been faced with making the field on speed or going home three times in 2000 and has qualified on each occasion...his latest successful attempt came last week at California when he qualified a season-high 7th...faced this dilemma at Bristol (qualified 13th) and Texas (qualified 30th)...has his Martinsville car as well...qualified 36th but finished 43rd after having transmission problems.
75 WALLY DALLENBACH
This will mark the third race for Dallenbach and new crew chief Newt Moore and the results so far have been an improvement...had a season-high 16th-place finish at Talladega and are coming off a 27th-place effort last week at California...team tested at Lakeland USA on Tuesday in preparation for this weekend...has the same car he attempted to qualify at Martinsville, but did not make it... new director of communications Brian Hoagland will be making his 2000 debut, which should be good for a top-15 finish in itself.
77 ROBERT PRESSLEY
The Robert Pressley-Ryan Pemberton duo continue to impress as they moved up one spot to 24th in the NWC point standings after a 21st-place run at California last week... a year ago the team struggled spending all but four weeks in 35th place or lower... has finished 30th or worse only twice in 10 events after having 14 such finishes in '99...has qualified in first round seven times in the last eight races...has run this car twice in 2000...first time was at Rockingham and it suffered ignition problems after 34 laps and finished 43rd...had a better run at Darlington, qualifying 13th and finishing 18th.
88 DALE JARRETT
Jarrett will be making his 400th career NWC start this weekend and he'll do it at the site of his first 1999 victory and the place where he took the points lead for good...after winning last year's Pontiac Excitement 400, Jarrett held on to the top spot for the final 23 races...has had great success at Richmond of late, posting eight top-five finishes in the last 10 races...has two wins, two seconds, two thirds and two fourths in that stretch...this will be the 15th race for R-15 and second this season...ran at Martinsville and finished 5th after qualifying 28th.
90 ED BERRIER
Car owner Junie Donlavey had also been pulling double duty as crew chief, but he took care of that earlier this week when he hired Dean Johnson to fill that role...his previous experience includes three stints as crew chief in the Busch Series... worked with Glenn Allen, Jr. in '99, Mark Krogh at the end of '98 and Mike Dillon during the first part of '98...Berrier has the car he took to Martinsville...didn't make the race, but tested it here and made some changes.
94 BILL ELLIOTT
Elliott has been solid the last two weeks, but his finishes don't really bear that out...had a top-10 run going last week at California until a loose set of tires late in the race contributed to a 19th-place effort...was in the top five with less than 10 laps to go at Talladega and got shuffled back to 15th at the finish...despite that, he comes into the weekend 13th in points and has numerous highlights... qualified on the outside pole at Talladega...has four top-10 finishes in 2000 after having only two in all of 1999...has qualified in the top 10 six times in 10 races...racing "Cha-Ching" for the third time in 2000...previously ran at Las Vegas (finished 4th) and Martinsville (finished 8th).
97 CHAD LITTLE Little is making his 200th career start this weekend, along with teammate Jeff Burton...another similarity appears to be the way both are able to get from the back of the field to the front....Little has started 35th or lower four times in 2000, but has posted a pair of 15th place finishes at Darlington (started 37th) and California (started 38th); and an 18th-place showing at Rockingham (started 38th)...only time he didn't finish in the top 20 in that instance was at Martinsville where he started 38th and finished 27th...his best finish of 2000 is a sixth place at Atlanta...also has his Martinsville car (finished 27th).
99 JEFF BURTON Burton has registered 12 NWC victories in his first 199 career series starts and he's hoping that number 200 will mean lucky number 13...comes into the weekend fourth in the point standings, but could possibly be the leader if it wasn't for an engine problem at Rockingham (finished 32nd) and a cut tire at Atlanta (hit the wall and finished 43rd)...has gained nine spots in the last six races, going from 13th after Atlanta to fourth...will be debuting a brand new car this week, one that has never seen a race track until Friday practice.