Wallace To Replace Rudd At RIR

Yates Newman Haas Lanigan driver Ricky Rudd will not race this weekend in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series at Richmond International Raceway as a result of a separated left shoulder sustained in an accident during Sunday’s NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series race at California Speedway.

Team Owner Robert Yates has selected Kenny Wallace to take over driving duties for Rudd this weekend at RIR. Wallace has recorded 11 starts this season in the NEXTEL Cup Series with his most recent as a replacement driver for Kyle Petty in August at Bristol Motor Speedway.

“We’d like to thank Kenny Wallace for driving the No. 88 car this weekend at Richmond,” said Robert Yates, team owner of the No. 88 Ford. “Our focus is to get Ricky well so that he can finish out the season with the No. 88 Team but we are excited to have Kenny behind the wheel of the Snickers Ford this weekend.”

Rudd sustained the shoulder injury in a multi-car accident on lap 180 in Sunday’s race at California Speedway, when contact from another car sent the No. 88 machine into the outside retaining wall of the front stretch. Rudd was treated and released from the Loma Linda University Medical Center on Sunday before returning to Charlotte. After examination on Tuesday by a Charlotte area physician, specializing in shoulder and elbow injuries, it was determined Rudd will not require surgery on his shoulder.

In addition to rest, Rudd will begin a rehabilitation program this week in Charlotte. Rudd will receive an evaluation next week to determine if he will be able to return as driver of the No. 88 for the September 16th race at New Hampshire International Speedway.

“It’s pretty disappointing to me to miss the race this weekend in Richmond,” Rudd said. “I’ve never missed a race due to an injury but I still feel lucky because it could’ve been a lot worse. Obviously, the fact I cannot race at Richmond, my home track, upsets me but I will be there with the team this weekend to assist in any way I can. I’d like to thank Kenny for being able to step in this weekend.”

Rudd earned the title of NASCAR’S “Ironman” as he currently holds the record of the most consecutive starts at 788. For 25 seasons, Rudd did not miss a race due to injury with the most consecutive starts streak ending at the 2005 season finale at the Homestead-Miami Speedway. Rudd took a year off from competition in 2006 before returning behind the wheel of the Snickers Ford in 2007.

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