TALLADEGA, Ala. (April 18, 2002) - It could be double-your-trouble at Talladega this weekend. Upon learning there were only 42 entries for Saturday's Aaron's 312 NASCAR Busch Grand National race, crew chief Marc Reno decided to roll the ...
TALLADEGA, Ala. (April 18, 2002) - It could be double-your-trouble at Talladega this weekend.
Upon learning there were only 42 entries for Saturday's Aaron's 312 NASCAR Busch Grand National race, crew chief Marc Reno decided to roll the back-up car off the hauler and attempt to qualifying it as well. Veteran driver Joe Ruttman, who has tested for the team on many occasions including last week at Talladega, is scheduled to attempt a qualifying run in the #51 Yellow Pontiac when the two-lap time trials start at 4 p.m. (CDT) today. Jimmy Spencer, like always, will be in the #1 Pontiac.
The 58-year old Ruttman has tested for the Yellow Racing Team on many occasions, including last week here at Talladega. He has 13 career NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series wins, the last at Pikes Peak in 2001. He also won Daytona earlier that year.
"I got to the track today and didn't know anything about it," Ruttman said. "Somebody said 'I heard you got a ride. I said that I hadn't. He said, 'That's not what I heard.' I had no idea what he was talking about. I had to come find out."
Phoenix Racing was already slated for a double-duty weekend with an entry in Sunday's Aaron's 499 Winston Cup race. Driver Geoffrey Bodine will attempt to qualify that car Friday. He finished third in the Daytona 500.
"If you're going to run two cars on the same weekend, you might as well run three," Team Yellow gasman Keith "Spud" Wightman said with a laugh.
The back-up car Ruttman will attempt to qualify is the same one Spencer finished second with here last year. Spencer will be driving the car he ran at Daytona to start the 2002 season.
"All you have to do is call my name, and I'll be there," Ruttman said. "I'll drive no matter what."
The Aaron's 312 is slated to start at 1 p.m. (CDT) on Saturday and will be televised live on FOX.