Rudd Fastest in Darlington Testing

Rudd fastest as Darlington testing wraps up DARLINGTON, S.C. (March 13, 1998) It took him three days, but Ricky Rudd finally found the speed he was looking for at Darlington Raceway Thursday. Ricky Rudd hasn't gotten...

Rudd fastest as Darlington testing wraps up DARLINGTON, S.C. (March 13, 1998) It took him three days, but Ricky Rudd finally found the speed he was looking for at Darlington Raceway Thursday. Ricky Rudd hasn't gotten his Taurus on track this year, but he's making progress.

Rudd, who brought three cars to the track "Too Tough To Tame," for a three-day test, completed his practice runs by posting the quickest speed of anyone while preparing for the March 22 TranSouth Financial 400.

Rudd's speed of 168.757 mph bettered Joe Nemechek's effort of 167.836 mph as a total of 12 drivers practiced during the three days. It was the first time Rudd felt comfortable in his Ford at the track "Too Tough To Tame," and it couldn't have happened at a better time.

"We've been struggling all year," said the 1991 TranSouth race winner. "This is the medicine we needed. I know it's not qualifying, but it gives us confidence when we come back next week for qualifying."

Bud Pole qualifying for the TranSouth event is set for Friday, March 20, beginning at 2 p.m. Dale Jarrett is the defending Bud Pole winner.

Rounding out the Thursday speeds were Jeff Green (167.493 mph), Kenny Irwin (167.265), Kyle Petty and Steve Grissom (166.981), Mike Wallace (166.698 mph) and Bobby Hamilton (165.966 mph).

"This is the medicine we needed." Wallace was in the Chevrolet usually driven by Steve Park, who was injured at Atlanta last weekend. The previous two days, the car was tested by Ron Hornaday, the 1996 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Champion.

"There's a possibility I'll drive the car next weekend," said Wallace, also a regular on the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. "I think they are trying to hire a full-time driver, who will finish out the year. They are in negotiations. It sounds like it's someone who already has a ride. They'll probably have a driver chosen by tomorrow or Saturday. I just hope I can come here and race it next week."

For ticket information on all three days of activity, which also includes the Diamond Hill Plywood 200 on Saturday, March 21, call the Raceway Ticket Office at (803) 395-8499.

Source: NASCAR Online

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Bobby Hamilton , Dale Jarrett , Steve Park , Kyle Petty , Joe Nemechek , Jeff Green , Mike Wallace , Ron Hornaday Jr. , Steve Grissom