DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., (June 4, 2002) - In the early 1980s, Rusty Wallace started competing at Daytona International Speedway and wasn't considered a real threat to win. In the last few years at the "World Center of Racing," the perception about...
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., (June 4, 2002) - In the early 1980s, Rusty Wallace started competing at Daytona International Speedway and wasn't considered a real threat to win.
In the last few years at the "World Center of Racing," the perception about Wallace's chances has changed dramatically. In four of his last five starts, Wallace has finished eighth or better in the Daytona 500, including a third-place run in 2001.
In the Pepsi 400, Wallace has finished 11th or better in his last five starts, including two top-five finishes.
Wallace, driver of the No. 2 Miller Lite Ford for Penske Racing, is hopeful he'll finally capture his elusive Daytona victory in the 44th annual Pepsi 400 on July 6.
"I tell you what, I haven't won here at Daytona," said Wallace, who visited DIS on Tuesday to give media members hot laps on the 3.56-mile road course. "I've won the Budweiser Shootout. I've won an IROC race. I've come so close to winning (Daytona 500 or the Pepsi 400) so many times since 1998, leading a load of laps and running up front."
Wallace is a traditionalist, referring to the Pepsi 400 by its former name - the Firecracker 400. No matter what it's called, he wants to win the mid-summer classic and believes he has got the team behind him to do it.
"The neat thing is our engine department," Wallace said. "We've always had good restrictor-plate engines. They haven't stopped working on that. Horsepower and aerodynamics will win you a race here because everybody has got the cars handling good."
"I'm looking forward to the Firecracker. I know we're going to run good."
Tickets for the 44th annual Pepsi 400 and the STACKER 2/GNC Live Well 250 NASCAR Busch Series race are available online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling the Speedway ticket office at (386) 253-7223.