Rudd Works Out Intermediate Program Kinks With Kentucky Speedway Test
Wood Bros. Racing NASCAR Winston Cup Series driver Ricky Rudd looked to maintain the form that boosted his No. 21 Motorcraft Ford to consecutive top-three series finishes during a one-day test at Kentucky Speedway.
He shared the track with Roush Racing teammates Jeff Burton and Mark Martin.
Rudd, who raced to a second-place finish at Louden, N.H., last week and a third-place finish at Richmond two weeks ago, said his team is focusing on improving its intermediate track program.
"Our weak point is the intermediate, 'Kentucky-size' tracks. What I foresee happening the rest of the year is a lot of 'hit-and-miss.' We'll be doing a lot of experimenting because we don't have a lot to lose. One thing I'm sure of, by the time we get to the end of the season on 'Charlotte-size' tracks, we'll be a lot better off.
"If you had to rate it on a scale with 10 being the highest, I feel our short track program is at about a nine right now and our intermediate track program is probably a four. It's aero, we have to figure out where we're missing it. We know we have some work to do there, so that's the area we'll concentrate on most the rest of the year."
Rudd's most recent top-five finish moved him up two spots in the series standings to 23rd. He enters this week's race at Dover, Del., with a total of four top-five finishes with no additional top-10 finishes. His earlier top-five finishes came in the form of a fourth-place performance in Bristol, Tenn., in March and a third-place effort in Daytona, Fla., in July.
"We've had a tougher season than we expected to have. We expected to be a lot better in the points (standings). For a good part of the first part of the season we really weren't competitive," Rudd said. "It seems like the last three or four weeks have been good for us. With back-to-back top-five finishes at Richmond and New Hampshire, it's coming the right direction."
He will be able to implement any newfound intermediate track knowledge beginning this Sunday at Dover, Oct. 5 at Kansas and Oct. 11 at Charlotte, N.C.
~ Kentucky Speedway ~