MARTINSVILLE, Va. -- After a solid qualifying lap put him on
the outside of the front row for Sunday's Subway 500 at
Martinsville Speedway, Ricky Rudd knew the questions about his
future were coming.
He was ready.
"Let's talk about Martinsville. I know what's happening at
Martinsville," Rudd said Friday with a laugh. "No disrespect to
everybody. It's just not time to announce anything yet."
Rudd, in his third season driving for Wood Brothers Racing and
in his 31st season in Nextel Cup racing, said he realizes his fans
want to know his plans.
"We're very aware of the support we have from them and the last
thing we want to do is make it appear like we're snubbing them or
dusting them off," he said.
"It's not intended that way. When everything comes out and all
the hands get played, I think everyone will see there were reasons
why things needed to be kept under wraps. The time has not come to
divulge that. I wish I could."
D.W. rides again
Darrell Waltrip said he will be making his
final appearance in the Craftsman Truck Series when he starts 30th
in Saturday's Kroger 200.
Rick Crawford won the pole Friday at 95.966 mph; Waltrip's speed
was 93.442 mph.
"Just being out here and hanging out and working has been
good," Waltrip said. "I hate starting that far back, but if the
tires don't fall off, we'll be OK."
Waltrip, a three-time Nextel Cup champion, also is an announcer
Gordon the spoiler
Jeff Gordon won for the sixth time here in
the spring, but arrived this weekend out of the Chase for the
championship and qualified 15th.
But, he said, along with helping Hendrick Motorsports teammate
Jimmie Johnson in any way he can, Gordon is hoping to gain some
momentum in Sunday's race and build on it in the last four races
before heading into an offseason that will bring change to his
Robbie Loomis, Gordon's crew chief for his fourth series
championship, will create the biggest void when he leaves after the
season to join Petty Enterprises.
"We'd love to have something good happening for us, because we
certainly haven't had a lot of that happen lately," he said.
"Something like that -- even just a top five for us, would be