Daytona: Rusty Wallace Racing preview

DEBUT OF NEW TEAM LINEUP: Driver Brendan Gaughan will make his RWR debut this weekend, as he takes the wheel of the team's No. 62 South Point Hotel and Casino Chevrolet. His former Truck Series crew chief, Bryan Berry, assumes the same role with...

DEBUT OF NEW TEAM LINEUP:

Driver Brendan Gaughan will make his RWR debut this weekend, as he takes the wheel of the team's No. 62 South Point Hotel and Casino Chevrolet. His former Truck Series crew chief, Bryan Berry, assumes the same role with Gaughan at RWR for the 2009 season.

Meanwhile, Steve Wallace begins his third full Nationwide Series season with a new crew chief. Dale Ferguson, crew chief for RWR's No. 64 team, with drivers David Stremme and Max Papis in 2008, moves to the team's No. 66 entry for 2009, along with several of the former No. 64 team members.

RWR FINDING NEW SPONSORS IN THE DOWN ECONOMY:

RWR officials announced Tuesday that Wentzville, MO-based USfidelis, Inc., through its USfidelis brand of extended vehicle service coverage, will serve as primary sponsor of RWR's No. 66 Chevrolet Impala SS and driver Steve Wallace in 25 2009 NASCAR Nationwide Series events. Combined with a ten-race commitment from 5-Hour Energy, Wallace's 2009 primary sponsorship lineup is now complete.

RWR also announced that Dannmar Equipment, a California-based manufacturer of high-quality automotive service equipment, will serve as an associate sponsor of the No. 66 for the full 2009 Nationwide Series.

Team officials previously announced that Las Vegas's South Point Hotel & Casino will be the primary sponsor for Brendan Gaughan and the No. 62 Chevrolet in a significant number of 2009 Nationwide Series races.

BLAST FROM THE PAST:

When Brendan Gaughan's No. 62 South Point Hotel & Casino Chevrolet takes to the track this weekend, it will be quite obvious to long-time race fans that team owner, Rusty Wallace, played a large role in the design of the car's paint scheme.

BLAST FROM THE PAST, CONTINUED:

"We wanted to come up with something really significant, something that looked really hot and would get attention from the fans, so we thought it would be really cool to pattern the car after my old No. 2 Miller Genuine Draft cars from back in the 1990's," noted Wallace, "It's black and gold, plus the two in the number even looks a lot like my old number. Some of the crew guys were joking around, saying that they were glad that the late Dale Earnhardt wasn't in the race, because he'd have wanted to put a bumper to it for sure!"

Meanwhile, an anonymous RWR crew member was quoted as saying, "Man, even Brendan's firesuit looks old school. All he needs now is a pair of Oakley M-Frames and a pile of trophies and he'd be ready to go!"

RWR LEADING THE WAY IN COCKPIT SAFETY:

In the off-season, RWR officials voluntarily installed COT-style impact-resistant foam in all of the team's Chevrolet Impala SS race cars that compete on tracks over one mile in length in 2009. Stated team owner, Rusty Wallace, "We're all looking at ways to make our race cars safer, so we started looking at some of the ideas implemented in the Cup COT. We went to NASCAR and explained what we wanted to do; they gave their blessing to go ahead. As far as I know, we're the only Nationwide team that's doing it, but hopefully some others will take a look as well."

THE NUMBERS

THIRD TIME'S A CHARM?

Daytona marks the start of Steve Wallace's third full season in a NASCAR national series. His father and team owner, Rusty Wallace, scored his first national series victory in his third full season, capturing the 1986 Valleydale Meats 500 at Bristol.

Coincidence? The elder Wallace thinks not. "It's been really encouraging to see how much Steve and our team improved last year. They had some top-fives and a bunch of top-tens; they were even in position to possibly win a race or two last year. With as hard as we've worked in the off-season and as much experience as Steve has gained, we really think that this is going to be the year that he puts the 66 car in Victory Lane for the first time.

THE VEHICLES:

TEAM 66: STEVE WALLACE:

Primary Chassis: RWR-039

An ex-DEI chassis, the "39 car" makes its debut for RWR this weekend. It was driven by Martin Truex, Jr. in last year's edition of this event, in which Truex started tenth and spent all of the race's 120 laps among the top-15. Truex led 20 laps--including at the halfway point--and had an average running position of 3.8 in that event.

Secondary Chassis: RWR-009

The "nine car" was raced by David Stremme in both Daytona events in 2008, including a top-ten effort in the July race.

Tertiary Chassis: RWR-030

Should either RWR driver require a third car for the weekend's events, the team will unload the "30 car," the chassis wheeled by David Stremme to a runner-up finish in last year's event at Talladega.

TEAM 62: BRENDAN GAUGHAN:

Primary Chassis: RWR-029

This chassis last saw action in the summer 2008 event at Daytona, in which Steve Wallace wheeled it to a top-15 finish.

Secondary Chassis: RWR-019

Chassis 19 was last raced by Steve Wallace in the 2008 edition of this event. Wallace seemed poised for a solid finish until being taken out of contention by Brad Keselowski with just a handful of laps remaining.

Tertiary Chassis: RWR-030

Should either RWR driver require a third car for the weekend's events, the team will unload the "30 car," the chassis wheeled by David Stremme to a runner-up finish in last year's event at Talladega.

-credit: rwr

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About this article
Series NASCAR XFINITY
Drivers Dale Earnhardt , Rusty Wallace , Max Papis , Brendan Gaughan , Martin Truex Jr. , David Stremme , Brad Keselowski , Steve Wallace