Ricky Rudd
Thursday January 20th, 2005

Ricky Rudd, driver of the No. 21 Motorcraft Racing Ford Taurus, will answer fans' questions each week this season. Submit questions to Ricky via his Web site.

What is the best race strategy at New Hampshire?

New Hampshire has been a good track for us over the years. It's the track where pit strategy and tire management are the most important. Once you get racing, out of a 43-car field, 40 cars are running at virtually the same speed, and three cars seem to be a little faster than the rest. And then it's down to pit cycling -- when to get two and when to get four. Track position is very, very important. I've seen a lot of good cars not get the finish they deserved and I've seen some cars that didn't run that well get a finish much better than they should have. It's one of those tracks that can be frustrating for drivers and teams.

Where is the best place to pass at Loudon?

Most of the passing is done on the inside there. You get a run on somebody coming off the corner, you get a little more speed than they do on the exit and you get your nose up in their door area, and generally if you can accomplish that, then the bottom of the race track is the place to be. And, usually you take that position.

Does anyone shift at New Hampshire?

It's happened over the years. Some teams have. I haven't. It must have been in the early days of the track that they tried doing some shifting there. In recent years, nobody that I know of has shifted there.

Do you still use restrictor plates there?

No, we only ran those one race, I think.

Is the red, white and gold car going to be your main paint job for the rest of the year?

We'll have several paint schemes before the year is out. We are going to race the Rent-A-Center scheme and the Air Force scheme again. We'll have the Wonder Woman car from the Justice League at the Michigan race next month, and we'll have the red Motorcraft car again. So it will be a mixture between now and the end of the year.

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