Daytona 500: Steve Wallace preview

Welcome to the Team: This week's event will mark the team's first while sporting the colors of HomeLife Communities, a third-generation home builder based in Atlanta, Georgia. For more, please visit www.homelifecommunities.com. A Week of...

Welcome to the Team: This week's event will mark the team's first while sporting the colors of HomeLife Communities, a third-generation home builder based in Atlanta, Georgia. For more, please visit www.homelifecommunities.com.

A Week of Firsts: The Orbitz 300 will mark Steve Wallace's first NASCAR restrictor plate start. It is not his first start on a restrictor plate track, however. That honor goes to last fall's ARCA RE/MAX Series race at Talladega, in which he led numerous laps and battled fiercely with Juan Pablo Montoya, before finishing second to Frank Kimmel. This week also marks a first for team owner and ABC/ESPN Lead Auto Racing Analyst, Rusty Wallace, as it marks ESPN's long-awaited return to live NASCAR coverage. 2007 will see Rusty in the booth for the final 17 NASCAR Nextel Cup Series races, 30 of 35 Busch Series events and the Indianapolis 500. For more on ESPN and NASCAR, please visit www.espnracingmedia.com.

More Than Just a Wheelman: Steve's Speedweeks started last week, as he was one of only a handful of Busch Series regulars invited to participate in NASCAR's annual Media Day last Thursday. He followed that up by running in the ARCA RE/MAX Series event on Saturday. Tuesday saw Steve in action once again, with an "arts and crafts" shoot for ABC/ESPN's 2007 Busch Series coverage. Following the shoot, Steve headed to Daytona USA for a "fan forum" and short Q & A session. The day ended with an appearance at the Daytona "Race Fest" and participation in one of MRN's live national radio shows. Amidst all of that, Steve has managed to find some time for fun and relaxation, including a deep sea fishing trip with Truck Series veteran, Ron Hornaday and a go-kart outing with team members.

Chassis History: The primary chassis for Steve and the team this weekend will be RWI-007. It was last raced by Jamie McMurray in the 2006 edition of this event. In that race, McMurray started 36th and quickly stormed to the front of the field. He eventually took the lead late in the race, before an accident ultimately ended the team's chances for victory.

Steve on TV: Steve and Rusty Wallace are both featured in ESPN's latest national spots promoting the network's 2007 return to NASCAR coverage. The spots are now airing regularly on ESPN and ESPN2.

Quotes:

Driver, Steve Wallace: "I'm really excited about this weekend. We're racing the same car that Jamie had here last year, so we know it's a real hot rod. If we can manage to not make any mistakes and stay out of the crashes that usually happen, we're going to have a great day. I'm looking forward to learning as much as I can, gaining some great experience and hopefully having the HomeLife Communities Dodge Charger up front when it counts."

Crew Chief, Bryant Frazier: "I'm really expecting big things out of our team this year. I think everyone in the garage realizes the huge talent and potential that Steve Wallace has. Now that we've worked together for a year, I really think that we're in a great position to capitalize on that talent. In the off-season, our team really worked hard to improve several key areas of our program and I couldn't be prouder of everyone's efforts. I really think that those efforts are going to show this weekend. We're running a car that has been up front before at Daytona and we feel like we've really improved it from where it was. With just a little luck, there's no reason we can't be up front when it's all over on Saturday."

-credit: rwi

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About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Rusty Wallace , Frank Kimmel , Jamie McMurray , Steve Wallace