Magazine article Newsweek

Start Your Engines, Again: Ricky Rudd Goes for His 656th Ride

Magazine article Newsweek

Start Your Engines, Again: Ricky Rudd Goes for His 656th Ride

Article excerpt

He won't get the national-hero treatment Cal Ripken got for all the games he played. But when Ricky Rudd races in this coming Sunday's Coca-Cola 600, he will break the NASCAR record with 656 consecutive Winston Cup starts dating back to 1981. Rudd, 45, spoke with NEWSWEEK's Mark Starr.

How does this record compare to Ripken's?

I hate to put myself up with the likes of a Cal Ripken. But I'm proud of it. There are days you're banged up and don't feel like climbing behind the wheel.

What was the closest you came to sitting out a race?

[In a 1984 accident] I ruptured all the capillaries in my eyes. My eyes looked like a horror film, like they were dripping blood. [In a few days] I'm back in the race car. My face was so swollen when I went into a corner, all the fluid would go into my eyelids and they would cover my eyes so I couldn't even see. I had to duct-tape my eyes open.

That can't be the only time you might have skipped a race. …

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