Ricky Rudd Martinsville II preview

MARTINSVILLE, Va. - Martinsville Speedway traditionally gives race winners at the .526-mile track a grandfather clock as a trophy. Ricky Rudd, driver of the No. 28 Texaco/Havoline Taurus, has three of those clocks and would like to add to his...

MARTINSVILLE, Va. - Martinsville Speedway traditionally gives race winners at the .526-mile track a grandfather clock as a trophy. Ricky Rudd, driver of the No. 28 Texaco/Havoline Taurus, has three of those clocks and would like to add to his collection in the Old Dominion 500 NASCAR Winston Cup Series race Sunday. "Those clocks are probably the best trophies we race for," Rudd said. "I've won a number of trophies in racing and the Martinsville clocks are not only beautiful, but functional too. I think I could find a spot for another one at my house next week." Rudd has been especially strong at Martinsville since joining the Robert Yates Racing team last year. He has been in contention to win all three races and has finished fourth and second in the last two races there. Rudd led the April race until being passed by teammate Dale Jarrett with six laps remaining. "We've got a really good setup for Martinsville," Rudd said, "Actually, we helped our teammate there in April and they ended up beating us with the setup we gave them. I know we will be strong again this weekend and maybe we'll be the team winning Sunday's race." Rudd is coming off a disappointing 21st-place finish at Lowe's Motor Speedway and sees Martinsville as the perfect place to get back into form. Rudd leads active drivers with four poles at Martinsville Speedway, winning his career-first pole there in 1981. "You get spoiled a little bit driving for the Texaco/Havoline team," Rudd said. "We run so well and get to where we can almost win every race with this team. Then, to go to Charlotte and not do well was frustrating. I'm just glad Martinsville is next up for us." Rudd remains second in the series point standings, and despite the disappointing run in Charlotte lost only 15 points to Jeff Gordon who also struggled. "It really could have been a whole lot worse for us," Rudd said. "Jeff could have won that race on Sunday and we really would have lost a ton of points. He finished 16th and we finished 21st, so it wasn't a terrible day for points. "I've said all along that the 10-or-15-point swings aren't nearly as important as it is for both teams to avoid problems. We can't catch Jeff unless we have fewer problems than they do. His racing is out of our control. We just have to race hard and try to win every week and see where we end up in November. For Ricky Rudd, Martinsville Speedway is a great place to get back to winning form. Rudd knows that part of his time next week could be used clearing space in his home for another one of those grandfather clocks.

-PPPR-

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jeff Gordon , Dale Jarrett
Teams Yates Racing