Memphis; Joe Ruttman - age, wisdom, and treachery still has its place

<pre> Joe Ruttman's Memphis Motorsports Park Results Date Start Finish Laps Status Money Won 9-13-98 29 4 200 of 200 Running $ 16,550 5-8-99 (Did Not Compete In Event) 0 of 200 ...

<pre> Joe Ruttman's Memphis Motorsports Park Results

Date Start Finish Laps Status Money Won 9-13-98 29 4 200 of 200 Running $ 16,550 5-8-99 (Did Not Compete In Event) 0 of 200 -------- --------

Totals 200 of 400 (50%) $ 16,550

</pre>

Last Year: In 1999, the Memphis 200 was one of the races that Joe Ruttman missed while looking for a ride, but oh what year can change. Now Ruttman enters Memphis with one win and three top five finishes in the first seven races and his eyes set on the 2000 championship race. To say that Ruttman has bounced back over the last 12 months would probably be the biggest understatement of the year. In a day an age when the buzzword around every racetrack is youth and exuberance, it is great to see age, wisdom, and treachery still has a place. "I get a kick out of everyone giving me a hard time about my age," said Ruttman. "Most of them don't understand that inside I'm a teenager just waiting to get out. I think that's why I still can run up front. I've never lost that fire to race and win. In fact, I think I race harder now than I did 20 years ago. I know I appreciate it more." As it stands going into the Quaker State 200, Ruttman is the oldest driver to ever win a race or a pole in the NASCAR Truck Series.

Top Five: After last week's fifth place finish, Ruttman and the Dana team moved back into the top five in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series points race, just 14 points out of fourth place and 141 points out of first. "We gained a little on the points last week," said Ruttman. "I think we gained nine points which may not seem like a lot, but every little bit helps. We've had a little bad luck this year, but if we can string together a few top five runs, we'll be right back in the championship hunt."

Plant Visits: Ruttman and the Dana Racing show truck will be at the Collierville, Tennessee Dana plant on Wednesday, May 10th and the Humboldt, Tennessee Dana plant on Thursday, May 11th. Ruttman will be spending the day with the employees, signing autographs and touring the plants.

Joe Ruttman's Quotes:

"Last year I missed this race, so the track may have changed since 1998. It was a new surface then, so I will be looking to Bobby and how he runs."

"I enjoyed the track two years ago, so I think it will be just as much fun. I know the guys will give me a good truck, so all I really have to do is just go out there and drive it."

"I'm sure I will be talking to Bobby a lot this week after the beating he gave me and the rest of the field in Martinsville. I guess I better try and beat the boss this week."

<pre> Ruttman's 2000 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Event Results

Location Start Finish Laps Status Money Won

Daytona 1 19* 64 of 100 Engine $ 14,092 Homestead 1 4 167 of 167 Running 19,076 Phoenix 1 1 150 of 150 Running 55,804 Bakersfield 7 16 248 of 250 Accident 8,271 Martinsville 6 6 250 of 250 Running 9,755 Portland 10 12 73 of 73 Running 9,670 St. Louis 30 5 160 of 160 Running 18,675

Totals 1112 of 1150 (96.6%) $ 135,343 *Engine failure do to overheating/body damage

Ruttman's 2000 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Results

Starts Poles Wins Top 5s Top 10s Money Won Point Position 7 3 1 3 4 $ 135,343 5th

Ruttman's NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Career Results

Starts Poles Wins Top 5s Top 10s Money Won 123 8 9 50 83 $ 2,046,245

Best Start: 1st - eight times, Most recent @ Phoenix International Raceway 3-18-00 Best Finish: 1st - nine times, Most recent @ Phoenix International Raceway 3-18-00 Biggest Purse: $ 83,000-Las Vegas Motor Speedway 11-9-97 Best Championship Finish 2nd - 1995

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Joe Ruttman