Bristol II: Rusty Wallace Racing race report

STREMME AND WALLACE ROLL TO TOP-FIVE, TOP-TEN FINISHES IN "THUNDER VALLEY" --Rusty Wallace Racing Teammates Have Vastly Different Races, Both Enjoy Strong Results-- BRISTOL, TN (August 23, 2008)--For Rusty Wallace Racing teammates David...

STREMME AND WALLACE ROLL TO TOP-FIVE, TOP-TEN FINISHES IN "THUNDER VALLEY"
--Rusty Wallace Racing Teammates Have Vastly Different Races, Both Enjoy Strong Results--

BRISTOL, TN (August 23, 2008)--For Rusty Wallace Racing teammates David Stremme and Steve Wallace, Friday night's Food City 250 at Bristol Motor Speedway told two vastly different stories, but with nearly the same endings.

Stremme, wheeling the No. 64 MasterCraft Boats Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS, proved to be one of the race's strongest competitors. The Indiana native started the event from the sixth position, his third top-ten start in his last four Nationwide Series races. As the race progressed, Stremme and his No. 64 Rusty Wallace Racing team climbed as high as third-place and was one of only four teams to stay among the top-ten during each of the event's 250 laps.

At the end of the day, Stremme brought home his No. 64 Chevrolet to a fifth-place finish, marking his fifth top-five and 12th top-ten effort in his 23 Nationwide Series starts thus far in 2008. With his finish, the No. 64 team once again cracked the top-ten in the 2008 Nationwide Series Owners' standings, climbing two spots to ninth position.

Noted Stremme, "We had a strong car all night long. It was incredible how close the field was all race; it was really hard to pass. If we just could have gotten a little better track position, I feel like we may have had a car that could have won the race. We just had a couple of little problems on pit road and that just kept us from really getting the track position we needed. All in all, though, I can't complain about a top-five. Our No. 64 MasterCraft Boats team did another good job with the car this weekend and I'm proud of the effort we put forth today."

While Stremme and the No. 64 team stayed near the front for most of the event on Friday night, teammate Steve Wallace and his No. 66 5-Hour Energy team would have several obstacles to overcome throughout the race.

After minor contact with the outside wall in qualifying, the No. 66 team was forced to start from the rear of the field, due to repairs made post-qualifying. Upon the drop of the green flag however, the 2007 Bristol pole winner began his charge forward, climbing 14 positions, from the 42nd starting position all the way to 28th, by the time the race's first caution flew on lap 19. The No. 66 came to pit road for fuel and a chassis adjustment during that caution period, dropping Wallace to the 35th position for the ensuing restart on lap 23.

Several well-timed cautions kept the No. 66 team on the lead lap throughout the race and Wallace made the most of the opportunity. Following a pit stop around lap 90, he was able to climb back to the 28th position and continued to climb forward from there. By lap 145, Wallace was able to crack the top-20 for the first time, when he swept around the No. 5 of Landon Cassill.

The No. 66 team's climb forward continued throughout the remainder of the race, as Wallace broke through into the top-ten on the race's final lap to end an adversity-filled day with a tenth-place finish.

Wallace's top-ten effort at Bristol marked his third top-ten finish in his last five Nationwide Series starts, following top-ten runs at Indianapolis and Montreal. It also marked the second top-ten finish in as many attempts for new Rusty Wallace Racing sponsor, 5-Hour Energy.

Stated Wallace, "Tonight was a great example of why you never give up. We had some problems in qualifying, but my 5-Hour Energy team did a good job of getting the car put back together. To be honest, it drove better afterwards than it did in practice. We got in a hole and it would have been easy to quit, but we kept giving it our all and we ended up getting a top-ten. While I'm definitely excited about that, I'm a little disappointed too, because I really think that our car was a lot better than that. If we just could have gotten track position, I feel like we could have been up in the top-five or better."

The next event for Rusty Wallace Racing is the August 30th Camping World 300 at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. The race features live television coverage by ESPN2, beginning with NASCAR Countdown at 9:45 PM ET. Live radio coverage will be provided by MRN Radio at 10:00 PM ET.

-credit: rwr

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