Wallace sets Happy Hour pace at Rockingham

Rusty Wallace set the pace in the final practice session today for the Subway 400 at North Carolina Speedway, turning in a quick circuit at 150.549 miles per hour. Wallace, a five-time winner at Rockingham, is looking to finally bust out of his...

Rusty Wallace set the pace in the final practice session today for the Subway 400 at North Carolina Speedway, turning in a quick circuit at 150.549 miles per hour.

Wallace, a five-time winner at Rockingham, is looking to finally bust out of his longest-ever winless streak that threatens to reach 100 races on Sunday. He is fourth on the starting grid tomorrow.

"We tested down here -- trying to get really prepared for this race," Wallace said after Happy Hour. "I feel like we're in pretty good shape.

Wallace was the fastest of the five Dodges that were among the top eight times posted in Happy Hour. Jamie McMurray and Ryan Newman, the pole-sitter for tomorrow's race, were second and fourth respectively. Kurt Busch turned the third fastest lap of the day in his #97 Irwin Ford.

"I kind of think it's just coincidence, although they're damn good cars," Wallace admits. "They create a lot of horsepower and get good down force. A lot of these guys have spent time here testing trying to get ready for this event."

Wallace last won at Rockingham in 1994, when he claimed his third straight win at the track. He has top-10 finishes in six pf the past 10 February events at Rockingham and knows what it will take to put an end to his winless skid.

"A great handling car is the main thing it's going to take to run good here."

Scott Wimmer is coming off a third place finish in the Daytona 500 and posted the fourth fastest time in practice. He qualified his #22 Caterpillar Dodge 31st but picked up 4/10ths of a second in practice today. He followed suit with the other Dodge teams despite not having the corporate support of the manufacturer.

"I have no idea why (the Dodges are all up front), I'm not in the Dodge loop," said crew chief Frank Stoddard. "The #22 car is running real well and we're looking forward to racing tomorrow."

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About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Rusty Wallace , Kurt Busch , Ryan Newman , Jamie McMurray , Scott Wimmer