Topics: Ricky Rudd
Rob Kerns, USS Theodore Roosevelt Public Affairs
February 21, 2002
U.S. Navy Story NNS021120-25
ABOARD USS THEODORE ROOSEVELT (NNS) -- Sailors from USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) recently contacted NASCAR driver Ricky Rudd to personally inform him of their recent painting of one of their aircraft tractors to resemble the 1987 No. 28 Havoline car.
The call was made possible through the efforts of TR's public affairs office and retired Air Force Maj. Gen. Tom Sadler, executive director of Speedway Children's Charities.
"We painted the tractors for fun and to show support for NASCAR," said Chief Petty Officer Todd R. Corsi. "Getting to tell Ricky that we painted the tractor to resemble the Havoline car was an added bonus."
Rudd said he was honored to have his car honored on board the TR. He then took time to speak with each member of the TR team that painted the tractors.
Petty Officer 2nd Class Scott D. Levenduski was surprised at how concerned Rudd was for the well being of the TR crew.
"He wanted to be sure we were doing OK, and couldn't stop saying how honored he was to be represented on the TR," said Levenduski.
During the conversation, Rudd let his driver side show when he asked Levenduski if he could make sure that the No. 28 tractor could be tuned to run a little faster than the No. 20 tractor, referencing the car number of fellow NASCAR competitor Tony Stewart.
With a giant smile on his face Levenduski told Rudd he would definitely give it a try.
Rudd closed the conversation by thanking the entire TR crew for making the sacrifice to fight the war against terrorism.
"You guys are working your tails off out there so we can play at home," said Rudd. "I can't thank you enough."
For more information about USS Theodore Roosevelt, go to http://www.spear.navy.mil/tr.