Ricky Rudd Wants a Partner

Rudd seeking a partner, not a buyer By Dave Rodman MARTINSVILLE, Va. (April 18, 1999) Ricky Rudd has been successful as a single-car owner. Ricky Rudd, a bastion of single-car ownership strength in NASCAR Winston Cup Series racing, has been...

Rudd seeking a partner, not a buyer By Dave Rodman

MARTINSVILLE, Va. (April 18, 1999) Ricky Rudd has been successful as a single-car owner. Ricky Rudd, a bastion of single-car ownership strength in NASCAR Winston Cup Series racing, has been dogged lately by rumors of the impending sale of his Rudd Performance Motorsports team. Before Sunday's Goody's Body Pain 500, Rudd, 42, discussed some of the issues that had been floating around in the media, but he made one thing perfectly clear -- he is not shopping RPM around for sale.

"I haven't gone out and tried to sell the team -- people are coming to me," Rudd said at the site of his last series victory, an inspirational triumph last fall at the .526-mile oval. "I guess part of it is we're not running well, and we're a single car team."

But Rudd -- who has a remarkable streak of 16 straight seasons with at least one win -- said the rumor mill has verged on ridiculous.

"They had Chip Ganassi basically buying the team and I've never talked to Chip," Rudd said of the CART FedEx Championship Series owner. "I obviously know the name, but I wouldn't know what he looks like. I didn't talk to Chip or any representative for him."

Rudd did confirm that current crew chief Larry McReynolds had approached him and made an offer, but that they mutually decided not to go that route.

"He and his partner, John Dangler, are looking to start a team, and it sounded like the perfect opportunity." Rudd said. "He is a quality player as a crew chief, but after we talked about it some more we both agreed it was not the right thing for either one of us. But I have a lot of respect for what they're trying to do."

Rudd said he is more in the market for a partner who would help him diversify his Tide Ford team, which is currently mired, unofficially, in 35th in the point standings after a 29th-place finish at Martinsville.

"What I'm looking for is more of a partner who would bring some financial support, to help us to grow the team with the foundation we already have in place," Rudd said. "We kind of want to make it a situation like what (Roger) Penske did with (Michael) Kranefuss."

Rudd's reference was to the motorsports mogul Penske's "merger" with Kranefuss to form Penske-Kranefuss Racing, making Rusty Wallace and Jeremy Mayfield teammates.

"I have to work on one thing at a time or I get too distracted," Rudd said, sporting his ever-confident grin. "We're working on one thing right now that we're pretty optimistic about. We know we've got to expand -- how is the issue."

Copyright ) 1999 NASCAR and/or Starwave Corporation and ESPN Inc. All rights reserved. Do not duplicate or redistribute in any form.

Source: NASCAR Online

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Rusty Wallace , Chip Ganassi , John Dang