Ikansas Notebook:/I Friday

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KANSAS CITY, Kan. - Both Ricky Rudd and Rusty Wallace are still a bit angry over their run-ins last week at Dover Downs International Speedway. But after conversations with NASCAR, both consider the incidents to be in the past.

The “feud” dates back to Bristol last month, when Rudd moved Wallace out of the way for a position on the last lap. Wallace turned Rudd around after the checkered flag, and both raced without trouble until last week.

“I guess all I’ve got to say, first of all, is that I like Ricky Rudd,” Wallace said as the teams prepared for the Protection One 400 at Kansas Speedway. “I really respect his driving. He’s been driving a little longer than I have, and you’ve got to be happy for a guy that is doing as well as he is this year, especially with having a shot at the championship and all.

“But when I got the shot in the rear end at Bristol, that really ruffled my feathers. I didn’t think that was the way Ricky Rudd ever drove. He doesn’t drive that way. The championship is so important to him this year that he got real aggressive and he took a shot that he probably shouldn’t have. Unfortunately, with me, if you bang on me, you’re gonna get banged back and then it’s even – then it’s done and over. He banged on me and I showed some frustration afterwards at Bristol, but in my mind I still wasn’t comfortable.”

At Dover, Rudd was lapping Wallace late in the race when the two made contact. Wallace responded by tapping Rudd, sending him into a half-spin off Turn 4. Rudd saved it, but the race was lost.

“If he wouldn’t have touched me when he went by me, I would have never done anything,” Wallace said. “But when he touched me, it really riled me up. As far as I’m concerned right now, it’s even and it’s over. I still like him and I still respect him. We’re both big guys and we’ll get over it. We’ve both been in bad situations like that with hot tempers. I’ve got a temper and he’s got a temper, but I still have the highest respect for his driving capabilities, and it’s done.”

Rudd, who is 212 points behind Jeff Gordon in the chase for the Winston Cup championship, expressed similar sentiments this weekend.

“I’ve been at it a long time, and I guess I’m not very good at what the proper reaction is supposed to be other than to say there was disappointment,” Rudd said. “That’s probably the biggest thing, but that’s all I’m gonna say. As far as I’m concerned I’m not really gonna comment on it anymore. We had a meeting in private with NASCAR and Rusty, and I feel like it’s a dead end issue and it’s over with.”

In NASCAR, “over” and “done” usually lasts until the next race. Stay tuned.

ppc to Three Teams?

The defending Busch Series champion team could be expanding to a three-car effort in 2002, ppc Racing general manager Keith Barnwell said.

“It could happen,” Barnwell said. “It could happen, and it could happen in a short period of time. We’ve had meetings all week, and there is a possibility that we could run a third team. It’s all pending sponsorship.”

The team won the Busch Series title with Jeff Green last year, and also fields cars for Jason Keller. ppc Racing is second (Keller) and third (Green) in the Busch points standings this season. Scott Riggs is replacing Green, who is moving to Winston Cup, in the No. 10 in 2002.

“We’ve got a pretty full plate, but we feel like several scenarios could happen,” Barnwell said. “Scott’s coming in as a rookie. Jason is a grizzly old veteran – he’s awesome. If we had another team to where we could add either a veteran guy or an experienced, then it’s going to give us one more set of tests, one more opportunity for Scott and Jason to pool resources.”

Barnwell said the team could run one driver in all the races or run one driver for 16 races or a veteran and a rookie could split time. A Winston Cup driver is a possibility, too.

“There’s good drivers out there that we could get if the opportunity arises,” Barnwell said.

Coors Donations Continue at Kansas

The Coors Brewing Company is continuing its effort to help the victims of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Coors will donate $10 for each lap Sterling Marlin completes in the Protection One 400. Marlin finished 400 laps last weekend, and if he can complete at 267 laps here Sunday, Coors will donate $6,700 to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund.

Marlin’s team was unable to complete a special paint scheme last weekend, but his No. 40 Dodge was decorated in red, white and blue at Kansas, with no Coors logos on the cars.

“I really like the red, white and blue paint scheme and I’m excited about racing at a new track this weekend,” Marlin said. “It’s great to work with a sponsor who is cares so much about the community.”

LaJoie’s Sponsorship Extended


Kimberly-Clark announced an extension of it sponsorship of Randy LaJoie’s Busch Series team. Evans Motorsports will continue being sponsored by Kleenex/Scott for three more years through the 2004 season.

LaJoie is 13th in the Busch Series point standings headed to Kansas, with one victory, three Top 5s and seven Top 10s.

Gatorade Test Results

Gatorade announced the result of its Sports Science Institute’s test at Richmond International Raceway of Mark Martin and Matt Kenseth. The GSSI wanted to see how much fluid loss drivers had during a Winston Cup race.

During the three-hour, 13-minute race on Saturday night, Sept. 8, Martin’s estimated sweat loss was 153 ounces, equivalent to10 pounds of body weight. Martin replaced 78 percent of that by drinking 119 ounces of fluid.

Martin still lost two pounds, and a post-race urine sample showed “significant dehydration.”

“Although Mark did a pretty good job of replacing the fluids he lost, he was significantly dehydrated before the race even began,” GSSI director Bob Murray said. “That means Mark has an increased potential for heat-related problems and is more likely to experience a deterioration in physical and mental performance.”

Martin said he’s still learning how to deal with fluid loss.

“The battle to stay hydrated during a race is as severe as I thought it would be, if not more,” said Martin. “We just haven’t figured out how to do a better job than we are doing, but with help from scientists and sports nutritionists, we will keep working on it.”

Kenseth finished the race, but because a crash put him in the garage area for nearly an hour, his fluid loss was a lot less than Martin’s. He lost 70 ounces of sweat, replacing it with 56 ounces of fluid.

“As far as we know, this is the first time anyone has studied fluid balance in NASCAR drivers during an actual race,” Murray said. “We have a lot to learn about how these athletes physiologically cope with the rigors of their sports and need to develop specific drinking strategies to help them avoid the ill effects of dehydration and heat stress.”

The study said Martin and Kenseth exhibited fluid loss similar to marathoners did a better job of replacing fluids than some. Overall, both Martin and Kenseth experienced levels of fluid loss similar to those experienced by other endurance and team sport competitors, such as marathoners and football players. But they did a better job of replacing fluids than several athletes GSSI has studied from these sports.

Featherlite Continues Official Status

Featherlite Inc. announced it has extended its sponsorship of NASCAR for five more years. The company will remain as the official trailer and official luxury coach of NASCAR and will continue as title sponsor of the Featherlite Modified and Featherlite Southwest Series.

Going to a Back-up

The new Kansas Speedway facility took a bite out of both Ken Schrader and Ryan Newman Friday during Winston Cup practice. Both Schrader’s and Newman’s cars hit the wall, during the one-hour session, and both were forced to go to back-up prior to qualifying Friday afternoon.

Looking For Redemption

Tim Shutt, crew chief for Mike McLaughlin’s No. 18 MBNA Pontiac, is looking for a little restitution for last week’s debacle at Dover Downs International Speedway. McLaughlin was spun out by rookie Ryan Newman, wrecked and wound up finishing a disappointing 31st in the MBNA.com 200.

A victory in Saturday’s Mr. Goodcents 300 at Kansas Speedway would all but make Dover a memory for the MBNA team.

“After having two DNF’s in a row, I am ready to get to Kansas City and run up front," Shutt said. “Last week was so disappointing to have one of the best cars all race and then be taken out of contention there at the end. We have a really good race team and a great driver here and we want to run up front every week. Saturday’s race would be a great one for us to win and make a statement as we close out the year.”

With Kansas Speedway being a new facility, Shutt realizes that finding the right setup will be a guessing game. The MBNA team may have a leg up on the others as their Winston Cup teammate, Bobby Labonte, spent time earlier this month testing on the 1.5 mile oval.

“We have some of the information from Bobby’s test and combined with our notes from Chicago and Las Vegas, I think we will give Mike a good racecar," Shutt said. “The playing field is basically even this weekend with it being everyone’s first race at the track.”

Reffner Resurfaces

TKO Motorsports team owner Mike Farris has announced today that veteran NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series driver Bryan Reffner will pilot the purple and white No. 41 Dodge in the Silverado 350 at Texas Motor Speedway on Oct. 5.

Reffner began the 2001 season as the driver for Team Menard Racing, but that team closed its doors after just four races this year due to lack of sponsorship. Reffner had two Top-10 finishes in those four races.

In his truck series career, Reffner has competed in 117 races with one win, five poles, eight Top-5's and 37 Top-10 finishes. In addition he has led 13 races for a total of 162 laps.

“We may sit on the pole here and Bryan knows that he can get a another win at Texas by driving for us,” Farris said.

Reffner will be the third driver of the No. 41 this season. Texan David Starr began the season for TKO by driving for them at Daytona. In the races TKO Motorsports has competed since then, Winston West star Brendan Gaughan had worked the wheel. Gaughan did an admirable job for Farris and Meyers this past June at Texas by finishing second.

Related Topics:

NASCAR Sprint Cup, 2001, Kansas 400

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