Ruttman right at home in test session at Daytona DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., (June 3, 2003) -- It doesn't matter how small the driver's seat, veteran racer Joe Ruttman is ready to get the behind the wheel in search for speed. On Tuesday at Daytona ...
Ruttman right at home in test session at Daytona
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., (June 3, 2003) -- It doesn't matter how small the driver's seat, veteran racer Joe Ruttman is ready to get the behind the wheel in search for speed.
On Tuesday at Daytona International Speedway, Ruttman tested a pair of owner James Finch's No. 1 Transportation Dodges in preparation for the NASCAR Busch Series 250 on Friday night, July 5.
Jamie McMurray, in his rookie Winston Cup season driving the No. 42 Havoline Dodge, will be behind the wheel of the No. 1 Dodge for the NASCAR Busch Series 250.
Even though he's taller than McMurray, Ruttman doesn't mind shaking down the No. 1 Dodges for the 100-lap, 250-mile nighttime race.
"That's Jamie seat in that car," Ruttman said. "Jamie is quite a bit smaller than I am. If you look in there, I had to take the interior out and all that stuff. We just checked the seat and it was like 125 degrees when I'm sitting in there. It gets pretty warm in there. I think I can get in (the other car) with the interior it. The bottom line is (crew chief) Marc (Reno) says that if a guy really wants to drive, he can get in."
The 58-year-old Ruttman regularly tests for Finch and expects to be back at the "World Center of Racing" in a couple of weeks for another test session with the No. 09 Miccosukee Indian Gaming Dodge that will compete in the 45th annual Pepsi 400 on Saturday, July 5.
Finch had slated Mike Wallace to drive the No. 09 car in the mid-summer classic. But Wallace was recently tapped as the substitute for the injured Jerry Nadeau in the No. 01 Army Pontiac leaving Finch with a driver vacancy that he has yet to fill.
Ruttman, who has won an ARCA race at Daytona in 1982 and most recently captured the 2001 Florida Dodge Dealers 250 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race, didn't hesitate when asked if he would be interested in driving in the Pepsi 400 for Finch.
"Are you kidding me?" Ruttman said. "I keep thinking each year, maybe this is my year to try it."
Ruttman will continue the test session on Wednesday. Testing is free and open to the public with access to the Oldfield Grandstand through DAYTONA USA.
Tickets for both the Pepsi 400 and the NASCAR Busch Series 250 are available online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.