Rudd to run No. 88 for Yates

Sources close to Robert Yates Racing told Wednesday that Ricky Rudd's Snickers Ford will carry the #88 in 2007. An announcement is expected as soon as this weekend, one source said. Since the mid-December announcement that Rudd would return to Nextel Cup Series racing following a year layoff, considerable speculation has centered on what number his RYR Ford would carry. Team officials were undecided and a bit evasive during a conference call following the announcement, leading many to speculate the number would switch to# 28 — the number carried by Yates' first-ever Cup Series entry from its inception through 2003, when the car was switched to #38. Asked his preference, Rudd said he'd take the #28, which he drove for Yates from 2000-2002, posting three wins and 34 top-five finishes. But he'll get the #88, a decision made based on a 2002 agreement between RYR and Texaco/Havoline, sources said. The agreement, sources said, was that RYR could keep the #28 when Texaco left for Chip Ganassi Racing [#42 Dodge], but that Yates would wait several years to run the number. Yates and Masterfoods — Snickers' parent company — wanted to run the #28, but couldn't reach the required agreement with Texaco to do so, sources said.

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