After racing karts and motocross as a teenager, Rudd made his NASCAR debut at North Carolina Speedway in 1975 at age 18. When he retired 32 years later, he did so as the Cal Ripken of the sport. Over that stretch, “The Rooster” made 788 consecutive NASCAR Cup Series starts, a record surpassed only by Jeff Gordon in 2015. The 1977 NASCAR Rookie of the Year is also third behind inductees Richard Petty (18) and David Pearson (17) in consecutive race-winning seasons. His 16-year streak from 1983 through 1998 included the 1997 Brickyard 400, one of 23 career Cup triumphs. The 1992 IROC champion’s best year arguably was 1991 with Hendrick Motorsports, when he finished second in points to Dale Earnhardt. Rudd fielded his own car from 1994-99, but after failing to win a race in 1999, he liquidated the team. He finished his career with Robert Yates and the Wood Brothers, his last race the 2007 Ford 400 at Homestead-Miami. Rudd was named one of NASCAR’s 50 Greatest Drivers in 1998.