THE STORY: Buoyed by a lead-lap, top-20 finish in his Sprint Cup debut last weekend at Daytona, Steve Wallace heads to Phoenix this weekend looking to put his 2011 Nationwide Series title charge squarely on track. Despite a fast 5-Hour Energy Toyota Camry, a cut tire in last weekend's Nationwide Series season opener at Daytona relegated Wallace-named by many in the preseason as a title contender-to a 20th-place finish.
STEVE WALLACE AT PHOENIX: Wallace has wrangled two top-ten finishes and three finishes of 12th or better in his last four starts on the desert mile. Overall, five drivers have scored top-ten efforts for RWR at Phoenix (R. Wallace, McMurray, Stremme, S. Wallace, Gaughan).
TEAM 66 PRIMARY: RWR-054-Rebuilt for 2011, car 54 has one prior NNS start (2010 Richmond II). At the hands of Steve Wallace, the car started 25th en route to a lead-lap 16th-place finish.
TEAM 66 BACKUP: RWR-052-Named the 66 team's backup in all of the COT races to date, car 052 made its on-track debut with a lead-lap top-15 finish at Daytona in July 2010, when a bizarre practice incident saw unsecured ballast from a backmarker strike the front of the No. 66 team's primary car.
from the cockpit.
Q: You've excelled on short tracks in the past, especially on flat tracks. What are some of the keys to success at Phoenix?
A: "Running well at a track like Phoenix is kind of a trade-off. You have to have a car that turns well and lets you keep your momentum up through the center of the corners, especially in these Nationwide cars-they don't have a lot of power. At the same time, you have to get the power we do have down, so your car has to have what we call good "forward bite," meaning it that it's still tight enough to keep the rear tires from spinning too much."
-source: rusty wallace racing