Rudd is the "Ironman" of NASCAR, holding the record for most consecutive starts in NASCAR racing. At his retirement, Rudd had made 788 consecutive starts. He is also remembered as one of the "Tide ride" drivers as well as for winning a race in sixteen consecutive seasons (1983 to 1998). Rudd had a total of 23 wins, 194 top 5's, and 373 top 10's. On November 8, 2005, Rudd announced his intention to take a break from racing effective at the end of 2005 season. Ricky Rudd was named the 2006 "Virginian of the Year." Robert Yates asked Rudd to drive
the #88 Ford in 2007.
Now Rudd is considering moving back to Sprint Cup part-time with Joe Gibbs Racing.
During the 1989 Holly Farms 400 at North Wilkesboro Speedway, Rudd attempted to pass the late Dale Earnhardt low in the first turn of the last lap of the race and Rudd ended up wrecking both cars. Both drivers were able to finish 9th and 10th. After the race, crew members of both teams fought on pit road. Earnhardt was furious at Rudd and said he should be suspended for the rest of the season. However, Rudd held his tongue and did not create any bad blood toward Earnhardt.
As of April 27, 2006, Rudd confirmed that Toyota is courting him. He's honored, but, to date, has politely declined. He said that retirement thing ain't so bad. He is stated as saying he misses the raceday activities but doesn't miss the grind of the 36-race schedule.