STEPHEN WALLACE DRIVES TO 15th PLACE FINISH AT MEMPHIS --Youngest Son of NASCAR Champion Makes Busch Series Debut at Memphis-- MOORESVILLE, N.C. (October 24, 2005) -- After 250 laps of beatin', bangin' and short track racin',...
STEPHEN WALLACE DRIVES TO 15th PLACE FINISH AT MEMPHIS
--Youngest Son of NASCAR Champion Makes Busch Series Debut at Memphis--
MOORESVILLE, N.C. (October 24, 2005) -- After 250 laps of beatin', bangin' and short track racin', Stephen Wallace came home with a lead-lap 15th place finish in his NASCAR Busch Series debut. Rusty Wallace's youngest son made his first Busch Series start Saturday in his father's No. 64 Top Flite Golf Company Dodge. After two hours of practice on Friday, eighteen-year old Stephen qualified an impressive 11th place for the Sam's Town 250.
Wallace spent most of the first 100 laps of the race in the top-10, trying to fight his way to the front. After his first pit stop, with a few minor adjustments to help the car turn better through the center of the corner, Wallace restarted in the 12th position. The day would bring several eye opening experiences for the newcomer; including fighting lapped cars on the restarts. "I didn't realize how hard these guys race; it doesn't matter whether they're leading or 50 laps down, these guys race like it's the last lap, every lap. When you get side-by-side like that on the restarts with the lapped cars, it gets crazy out there," said Wallace after the race.
On lap 212, Wallace was involved in a six-car incident coming off of turn four. As cars began to spin towards the wall, another car bumped Wallace from behind and sent him spinning up the race track. The result of the crash was damage to both front fenders and the rear of the car. The crew quickly fixed the cosmetic damage under caution and got Stephen back on the track without losing a lap. When the restart came on lap 223, Wallace was in 21st position, eager to gain as many positions as possible and end his day on a positive note.
The final 30 laps were plagued with cautions and a 15-minute red flag, but that didn't stop the younger Wallace from working his way through traffic to bring home a fifteenth-place finish for his team. "I was disappointed there at the end. We ran in the top-10 all day and I know we could have finished better than that. Our car was pretty good for most of the day; the way things worked out at the end, we really should have finished somewhere around seventh or eighth. For my first Busch race though, I think it went pretty well. We did what we came here to do. I'm really proud of our guys for all the work they did and I'm happy that we could give Top Flite Golf Company a good result."
RWI Racing, Inc. is competing in its first full-year on the NASCAR Busch Series schedule in 2005. After competing in only 17 races during the 2004 season, the team won its first victory at Darlington Raceway with current NEXTEL Cup Series driver, Jamie McMurray. By the end of the 2004 season, the team had posted one win, three top-five's and six top-ten finishes. In 2005 the team has had a series of NEXTEL Cup Series stars behind the wheel of the No. 64 Dodge, including Jeremy Mayfield, Jamie McMurray, Bill Elliott and car owner, Rusty Wallace.