Talladega Ford report card

2 RUSTY WALLACE Rusty has had good success with this car at restrictor plate tracks... PC-18 has three top-five and four top-10 finishes in five races, including an 8th-place run here at Talladega last fall after starting 38th...car debuted in the...

Rusty has had good success with this car at restrictor plate tracks... PC-18 has three top-five and four top-10 finishes in five races, including an 8th-place run here at Talladega last fall after starting 38th...car debuted in the 2000 Daytona 500 and finished 4th before bettering that in July's Pepsi 400 where it ran 3rd...the last time Rusty ran this car was in this year's Daytona 500...he suffered right side damage in the major multi-car wreck on the backstretch, but his team was able to patch a four-foot hole behind the front quarter-panel and fix the toe-in, which enabled Rusty to finish 3rd...the only time this car has not been in the top 10 came a year ago in this event...Rusty was an obvious contender, but blew an engine with 71 laps to go (41st).

Martin ran a new car in this year's Daytona 500, but it was severely damaged in the multi-car accident late in the race...as a result, he will be racing the car that finished 8th in this year's Budweiser Shootout (JR-59)...this car competed in all four superspeedway restrictor-plate races last year and never finished lower than 7th...car debuted in the 2000 Daytona 500 and finished 5th...led this event a year ago a race-high 7 times for 98 laps before getting shuffled late and finishing 6th...followed that up with a 4th in the July Daytona race and a 7th in the fall Talladega event.

This marks the second race Wallace will run in this particular Taurus and he's hoping those results will be just as good as the first time...despite starting 27th in the season-opening Daytona 500, Wallace was near the front all afternoon and ended up 6th...since then, new crew chief Jim Long has had new sheetmetal put on the sides of the car, but has done little else in the way of changes.

Bodine struggled on superspeedway restrictor plate tracks last year, missing both the Daytona 500 and this event...he has taken a different approach in 2001 and after one race it seems to have worked for the better ...Bodine bought this particular Taurus from Roush Racing in 1999, but it sat in the team's shop for more than a year...crew chief Mike Hillman decided to work on it over the winter and the team ended up testing it and bringing it to Daytona for this year's season opener, where Bodine ended up 15th.

Mayfield will sport a black paint scheme this weekend, instead of the customary blue...even though the exterior might look different, it's the same car that competed in this year's Daytona 500...this car has been the team's primary superspeedway restrictor plate piece, having competed at Daytona and Talladega each of the past two seasons...this is the same car that sat on the pole here a year ago and finished 14th.

Kenseth finished 21st in the Daytona 500, so he's going to change things up and compete in the car that served as the backup for that event...even though Kenseth has never driven this piece before, it does have some on-track experience here at Talladega ...this is the same car Kevin Lepage drove in the Winston 500 last fall when he was part of Roush Racing and the 16 car...Lepage only got to finish 20 laps, however, before ignition trouble forced him into the garage and a 43rd-place finish.

Sadler did not qualify for this race a year ago, but crew chief Pat Tryson and the rest of the 21 team have put in extra effort to make sure that doesn't happen again...after losing one car in the Twin 125 due to an accident and suffering damage with the backup in the Daytona 500, Tryson and team went to the windtunnel with two re-built cars...the Taurus Sadler will drive this weekend is the same chassis that raced in the 500 and finished 18th...it's a Roush car that was built over the winter months.

Spencer finished a season-best 5th on two occasions last year...he achieved that feat for the first time in this event when he led 4 times for 14 laps...he'll have that same car this weekend, a car which has competed in each of the last 5 superspeedway restrictor plate races ...the last time out it broke a gear after a routine pit stop in this year's Daytona 500 and finished 27th, but Spencer said it was the best car he had at Daytona in a long time...Spencer has finished in the top five of this event 4 times in the last 7 years, which includes one of his two NWC wins ('94)...he has 6 top-five efforts in the last 14 Talladega events overall.

Rudd debuted this Taurus at Daytona after the team built it during the winter off season...it proved to be one of the strongest Fords as Rudd drafted his way from a 30th starting position to 4th...Rudd comes into the weekend 8th in the NASCAR Winston Cup point standings for car owner Robert Yates, who won his first race as a car owner here at Talladega in 1989 with Davey Allison.

This will mark the sixth race for this particular car, which is known as WC-10 in the PPI shop...Craven drove it for the first time at Daytona earlier this year and was one of the strongest Fords early in the race...ended up 23rd, however, after breaking the rear-end gear and drive shaft three-quarters of the way through the event...Scott Pruett drove WC-10 in both Daytona and Talladega races last and posted a top-20 finish at each track...opened the season with a 19th-place showing in the 500 and was 20th in this race.

Bodine is hoping for better luck with this car at Talladega than he had at Daytona, where he failed to qualify for the Daytona 500...that marked the first time he had attempted to make a race with car #11, but it's a car Darrell Waltrip drove twice in 2000...the car made its NWC debut at Daytona last July and then ran at Talladega for the first time in the fall.

Pressley has brought an old reliable piece of machinery to Talladega this weekend...car No. 02 represents the second car built at Jasper by crew chief Ryan Pemberton and it has five restrictor plate races to its credit, including this year's Daytona 500...Pressley finished 14th in this year's season-opener and has three top-20 efforts with this car in five races...unfortunately, the two finishes he's had outside the top 20 have been here at Talladega, where he finished 23rd and 25th last year.

Jarrett will be looking for his 3rd straight NWC win and fourth in the last five events this weekend...his primary car was damaged in the backstretch accident at Daytona, so Jarrett and Parrott have opted to run their Budweiser Shootout piece ...besides the Shootout, Jarrett ran this car here at Talladega in the spring race ...qualified 3rd for that event and finished 17th.

Stricklin tried to qualify for the Daytona 500 with this particular car, but did not make the field...since that time, the team has taken it to the wind tunnel and feels like it has made some improvements...one other change since that time has been a switch to Yates engines...this is the same car Ed Berrier drove here in this event a year ago and qualified 23rd (finished 28th).

Houston and his PPI team put a lot of work into this car (WC-19) before the Daytona 500 and a lot of work into it afterwards...this is a Laughlin chassis that the team built during the off-season and took to the windtunnel 4 times, in addition to testing at both Daytona and Talladega...that work was paying off as Houston finished 4th in the first Twin-125 and started the Daytona 500 in the 9th spot...he hung with the leaders all day, but suffered severe damage in the multi-car crash on the backstretch and ended up 38th.

This will mark Busch's first NWC race at Talladega and it will also be the first time Talladega experience for this particular Taurus...car was built over the winter and served as the team's backup car at Daytona...Busch tested this car during the off-season at Daytona, but decided on a more proven piece for the 500.

Burton had a 15th-place run in the Daytona 500 with this car, which was built at the team's shop over the winter months...car has been re-skinned and visited the wind tunnel since then...Burton is coming off his best race of the season two weeks ago at Martinsville, where he finished 3rd.

-Ford Racing

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Darrell Waltrip , Kevin Lepage , Scott Pruett , Davey Allison