Texas Ford Motorsports tidbits

2 RUSTY WALLACE After winning his 50th career NWC race last weekend at Bristol, Rusty will go to work on breaking that eighth-place tie with Ned Jarrett and Junior Johnson on the all-time win list with a car he has raced three times ...


After winning his 50th career NWC race last weekend at Bristol, Rusty will go to work on breaking that eighth-place tie with Ned Jarrett and Junior Johnson on the all-time win list with a car he has raced three times in 2000...PC-10 debuted at Charlotte last fall and ran 8th, but posted a 5th at Rockingham a couple weeks later...first race this season was at Rockingham, where Rusty set a track qualifying record and won the pole...finished 11th due in part to lugnut problem on pit road...ran in top-five at Atlanta, but got caught up in Tony Stewart's late-race accident and finished 32nd...car also ran Darlington and finished 16th.


There have been 6 different winners in the first 6 races of 2000 and Martin would like to make it 7 this weekend ...he hopes to do so with JR-54, a car that has not seen the race track in over a year...last time it ran was in a rain-shortened event at Phoenix in 1998 ...qualified 11th and finished 2nd to a dominant Rusty Wallace...Martin has won either a Busch or Cup race at Texas each of the last 3 years...won the inaugural Busch event in '97, the Cup race in '98, and last year's rain-shortened Busch contest.


Compton is still looking for his first top-20 finish as a NWC driver...will try a brand new car at Texas, one that saw the chassis built entirely in-house at the new Melling race shop in Concord, NC...did not do any testing here at Texas, but Compton has raced on the track before in the truck series.

11 BRETT BODINE After missing two of the first three races, Bodine and his team have turned it around...qualified first round in two of the last three events (16th in Atlanta and 24th in Bristol)...this is the car that started the team's turn around, the one Bodine ran at Atlanta... finished 16th in the Cracker Barrel 500, which marked his best finish since a 12th-place run at Bristol last August.


Coming off his best finish of the season last week at Bristol (4th)...led 4 times for 124 laps (only Jeff Gordon led more with 225)...marked his 2nd top-10 of the year (7th in Atlanta) ...will also have his Atlanta car with him this week, but one advantage he might have is that he was one of three drivers who did a tire test here at Texas in December...tested here with Ward Burton and Mike Skinner. 13 ROBBY GORDON

Even though he is 33rd in points and missed one race (Atlanta), Gordon is still higher than 3 drivers who have competed in all 6 events and only 60 points away from passing 3 more... Gordon will look to make another move with a brand new car this weekend, one that has a standard Hopkins chassis.


After two outstanding weeks with top-5 qualifying runs, Lepage and crew struggled at Bristol...qualified 38th and finished 30th...team is still 3 spots better in the standings (25th) than a year ago at this time...Lepage figures to be strong this weekend because he has the same car he finished 11th with at Las Vegas and 10th at Atlanta.


One of only 2 Ford drivers (Jarrett) and 7 overall who has qualified first round in every race this season...has 4 top-15 finishes in 6 races this year, including the last two at Darlington (6th) and Bristol (12th)...Kenseth will have a brand new car to run for his first NWC race in Texas.


Sadler has posted back-to-back top-10 qualifying efforts, but ran into some bad luck last week at Bristol...after being fastest in happy hour, Sadler got spun on the second lap and suffered major damage to the steering (41st)...this car ran once this year at Atlanta, where Sadler had a 14th-place finish.


Spencer is coming off his second top-20 effort of the season at Bristol (18th), but his best showing remains 17th at Atlanta...despite team struggles he is still 22nd in points...ran this car at Atlanta and finished a season-best 17th place.


Started the first 3 races on the front row, but his best starting spot since then has been 22nd at Darlington...has been solid all year, however, in race trim with 5 top-15 finishes...this will be the third time Rudd runs this car in 2000...the previous two came at Rockingham and Darlington where he finished 6th and 17th, respectively.


Pruett has made 3 of the 6 races this season, but qualifying has been a case of feast or famine...he has either qualified in first round, including the outside pole in Atlanta, or not made the field at all...this car has proven itself once already this year, qualifying on the outside pole at Las Vegas...finished 42nd that day.


Despite being out of provisionals until Martinsville, Waltrip showed the potential he and his team has after being the 3rd-fastest Ford qualifier last week at Bristol (13th)...that marked the first time in 2000 that DW made the race in first round...Waltrip made this race a year ago on speed, doing so in 2nd-round qualifying...has the same car he ran at Vegas and finished 38th.


After missing the race at Darlington, Dallenbach bounced back last week and finished 29th at Bristol...Walter Giles is back for his second week as interim crew chief and he said the team will take its time to find the right person for the full-time job... Dallenbach will have a new car to run this weekend in hopes of improving on his season-best 20th-place run at Rockingham.


Pressley comes into Texas having recorded back-to-back season-best finishes...was 18th at Darlington and 17th last week at Bristol...had his best NWC career finish here at Texas in '98 when he finished 3rd to Mark Martin and Chad Little...Pressley will have his Atlanta car, which was new for the Cracker Barrel 500...qualified 12th, but finished 33rd when he was caught up in Tony Stewart's accident late in the race.


Jarrett appeared headed for a top-five finish at Bristol last week until his right-front tire started going down late in the race...limped home 21st, but is only one spot away from where he was a year ago at this time...comes into this week 4th in points...has run this car once in 2000 with that being at Rockingham...qualified 23rd, but ended the race 5th...one of two Ford drivers to qualify first round in each of the first six races, joining Kenseth.


Berrier will be looking to snap a four-week stretch which has seen the team come up short in its qualifying efforts and not make the field...team has brought one of its newer cars this weekend, the same one it finished 36th with at Rockingham.


Elliott has improved his point position by 10 spots from this same time a year ago as he comes into Texas 11th...that would even be higher if it wasn't for a transmission problem at Bristol last week that led to a 36th-place finish...Elliott's 3 top-10s in 2000 is one more than he had in all of 1999...like many other teams, Elliott has brought his Atlanta car this weekend...qualified 10th for that race and finished 10th.


Like Pressley, this is the site of Little's best career NWC finish...battled Mark Martin for the win here in '98 and ended up finishing 2nd...currently 15th in point standings, but is only 40 away from 10th...this is the car Little ran 19th with at Las Vegas...that marked the first race for the car, although it had tested at the track prior to race weekend.


Burton's 9th-place finish at Bristol last week gave him 4 top-10s in the first 6 races of 2000, but an engine problem at Rockingham (32nd) and cut tire at Atlanta (43rd) have put him 8th in the point standings...won the inaugural race here at TMS and has 2 top-10 efforts in 3 NWC races...if this was a No Bull 5 race, Burton would likely be a favorite because the car he has this weekend has won two No Bull events already...captured the Southern 500 at Darlington with this car last year and won the CarsDirect.com 400 at Vegas earlier this season as well.

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Ward Burton , Jeff Gordon , Tony Stewart , Rusty Wallace , Mike Skinner , Chad Little , Ned Jarrett , Mark Martin