Texas: Ricky Rudd preview

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#88 TEAM AIMS TO HAVE A "TEXAS-SIZED" WEEKEND OF RESULTS

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (April 10, 2007) -- The NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series returns to action this weekend as the series heads to Texas Motor Speedway for the Samsung 500. Ricky Rudd looks to continue upon the path of improvement after his 13th-place finish in Martinsville two weeks ago which was a season-best result for the Snickers®/Valero Ford Fusion. The week off recharged the team, and after a successful test session in Richmond, Rudd and the #88 team aim to have another improved qualifying run and finish this weekend in "the Lone Star State."

Quoting Snickers/Valero Driver, Ricky Rudd:

Going into Texas, what do you see as any challenges facing the team this weekend?

"It's really a big question mark going into this week. The team has been able to identify some of the issues we had in earlier races, so we feel that we're going to be better than we have been running earlier in the year. I like racing at Texas and I really like the track. The car that we're using is one from earlier this season that we reconstructed and we're just trying to accomplish what needs to be done. I'm actually kind of anxious to see how everything goes this weekend, but I really feel that we're coming around on diagnosing what needs to be done to keep our cars running well."

How are you feeling coming out of Martinsville and getting your best finish of the season?

"You know we've been about a 15th place car week in and week out, but ended up finishing 25th. The last race we were about a 10th-place car, but ended up finishing 13th. With the system failure in the car causing the alternator to go out during the race, our team really worked well on rebounding on that unfortunate situation we had. I was very surprised and very happy that we even finished the race. I'm really proud of how the crew handled the pressure we faced in Martinsville and I feel that it's all coming together for us."

Quoting Snickers/Valero Crew Chief, Butch Hylton:

What are your goals for the team heading into Texas this weekend?

"We really are just trying to keep climbing up in the points right now - That's our main goal. This is a great time for us to make a big jump and I would love to have a great finish in Texas. Going back to Texas is a little like going home for me since I lived in Beaumont, Texas for middle school and high school. It would be a great feeling coming back here for the weekend and being able to walk away with a top-10 finish.

NOTES OF INTEREST:

* On Thursday, April 12th, Rudd will visit the Masterfoods USA plant in Waco, Texas where Snickers®, Starburst®, and Skittles® are produced. He is taking a tour of the facility to witness how the products are produced as well as meeting with associates at the plant.

* Crew Chief - Butch Hylton, is a graduate of Monsignor Kelly Catholic High School in Beaumont, Texas

* Rudd has a driver rating of 79.7 at Texas

* Rudd's average finish at Texas is 17.1

* Rudd has an average running position of 10.5 at Texas

* Rudd's best finish at Texas is fourth place scored back in 2002

-credit: ryr

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Series NASCAR Cup