Ricky Rudd Looking at the Long Run

RICHMOND, Va. -- Ricky Rudd, driver of the No. 28 Texaco/Havoline Ford, is focusing on the long run when considering Richmond and his first season aboard the famous Robert Yates Racing machine. Rudd, following his best finish of the season...

RICHMOND, Va. -- Ricky Rudd, driver of the No. 28 Texaco/Havoline Ford, is focusing on the long run when considering Richmond and his first season aboard the famous Robert Yates Racing machine. Rudd, following his best finish of the season -- a fourth-place finish on Sunday at California Speedway, is hoping some long runs in Saturday night's Pontiac Excitement 400 at Richmond International Raceway will yield an even better result. "We're taking the same car that we had at Martinsville," Rudd said. "It was a car capable of winning the race. "It was very good on long runs and that's important at Richmond. The key is to keep the car working on the bottom of the track, and if you can do that in the long runs you'll do real well." While Rudd is hoping for long runs on Saturday night, his focus is on the long run success of the team. "I am really pleased with our season," Rudd said. "We are just in need of a little more time for it all to gel. We certainly have all the tools we need to work with. "Our guys made a decision not to test in the first quarter of the season, other than for Daytona. They wanted to get the arsenal of cars built up and then pick up the test schedule as the race season progressed. We also wanted to let the rules stabilize and take time to learn about the new tires Goodyear has this year. " Even without testing, a comparison of last season to this season shows that both Rudd and the No. 28 team have much improved. After 10 races last season, Rudd was in 37th in the point standings and the No. 28 team was 21st in owner's points. Now, going into the 11th race of the season, they are ninth. "I did not think that a win would happen in the first 10 races because we are a new team," Rudd said. "I think I see the second half of the season as being our strong part when we can build on these early successes. I feel confident we'll have it all together and, as a group, will win some races." For Rudd and his team, establishing the No. 28 as a title contender is the goal in the long run. With the help of some long runs on Saturday at Richmond they could take a big step in that direction.

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Robert Yates
Teams Yates Racing