RUDD RETURNS TO NATIVE VIRGINIA AND AIMS TO HAVE HOME-TRACK ADVANTAGE CHARLOTTE, N.C. (May 2, 2007) -- The NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series travels to Richmond International Raceway this weekend for the Crown Royal Presents the Jim Stewart 400. This ...
RUDD RETURNS TO NATIVE VIRGINIA AND AIMS TO HAVE HOME-TRACK ADVANTAGE
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (May 2, 2007) -- The NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series travels to Richmond International Raceway this weekend for the Crown Royal Presents the Jim Stewart 400. This weekend will mark a homecoming for Rudd who's hometown of Chesapeake, VA is less than 100 miles away from Richmond. Rudd was inducted into the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame last weekend and was named Virginian of the Year in 2006. This weekend the #88 team will be running the bright yellow PEDIGREE® Brand Food for Dogs Ford Fusion instead of their normal Snickers Ford. Rudd and his teammates hope that the home-track advantage of Richmond will help the team garner a strong finish.
Quoting PEDIGREE Driver, Ricky Rudd:
How does it feel going to Richmond this weekend with another Car of Tomorrow race?
"Well I really like the track at Richmond. I've had some really good runs there but I'm not sure how things will play out this weekend. We tested the Car of Tomorrow there and we ran ok, but we felt we could do better, so the guys came back to the shop and changed a lot of things on the car for us to head in there this weekend. It really could be a surprise this weekend. I'm hoping it goes along the lines of our weekend in Martinsville a few weeks back, but we're going to see how our adjustments play out this weekend on the track."
What do you enjoy about racing at Richmond International Raceway?
"Richmond is close to where I grew up in Chesapeake, Virginia so there are always a lot of friends and family around, but the racetrack itself is just a unique race track. It really is the perfect track. It's fast, but it's not too fast for aerodynamics to be a factor making it difficult for cars to pass each other, and it's a small enough track where you see a lot of door-to-door action. The racing surface lends itself to at least two-wide racing safely. At Richmond, cars can run side-by-side at full speed and not have to worry about taking cars out next to them or sliding in the turns."
Quoting PEDIGREE Crew Chief Butch Hylton:
What do you feel the team needs heading into Richmond this weekend?
"We've just got to have a good solid run this weekend. We've incurred a lot of damage in the last seven out of nine races so it's just been very tough for us to jump up in the point standings so far this season. We just need to stay out of trouble on the track and make sure that we maneuver ourselves away from the "danger zone" of being near the 35th place in driver point standings."
* Richmond, VA is roughly 97 miles from Rudd's hometown of Chesapeake, VA.
* On Thursday, May 3rd, Rudd and his family will attend Virginia's Royal Welcome event commemorating the 400th anniversary of the founding of Jamestown. The event will take place at the Capitol Square in downtown Richmond and her majesty Queen Elizabeth II will be the guest of honor.
* Legendary Crew Chief Buddy Parrott will be spotting for the #88 team this weekend in Richmond. Parrott replaces Jon Wolfe who is now serving as Car Chief for the #88 PEDIGREE Ford.
* Jimmy Rollins, mechanic on the #88 team, is a graduate of J.R. Tucker High School in Richmond, VA where he played football and was a Virginia All-America team member.
* Rudd has an average starting position of 14.7, and an average finish of 13.4 at Richmond
* Rudd has 54 starts at Richmond which is more than any other active driver.
* Rudd's best start at Richmond has been from the pole twice (1983 and 1990).
* Rudd's best finish at Richmond is a pair of victories having won at Richmond in 1984 and 2001.