STEVE WALLACE AND TEAM 5-HOUR ENERGY AMONG FASTEST FIVE IN PHOENIX --Young Driver Continues to Impress Throughout Season's Final Stretch-- AVONDALE, AZ (November 7, 2008)--For the second time in three NASCAR Nationwide Series races, Rusty ...
STEVE WALLACE AND TEAM 5-HOUR ENERGY AMONG FASTEST FIVE IN PHOENIX
--Young Driver Continues to Impress Throughout Season's Final Stretch--
AVONDALE, AZ (November 7, 2008)--For the second time in three NASCAR Nationwide Series races, Rusty Wallace Racing driver, Steve Wallace (No. 66 5-Hour Energy Chevrolet) was among the five fastest drivers overall in today's pre-race practice for Saturday's 200-mile event at Phoenix International Raceway in Arizona.
Wallace's fastest lap of 27.639 seconds (130.251 MPH) came on his 36th--and final--lap of the day's first practice session. That lap, just 0.100 seconds off of the day's fastest, was good enough to place the 21-year old wheelman fourth-fastest in the session and fifth-fastest overall on the day. The young driver continued his strong performance in the day's final practice as well, posting the eighth-fastest time of that session, with a lap of 28.000 seconds (128.571 MPH) on the 34th of his 34 laps in the session.
The top-five drivers overall on Friday consisted of Joey Logano, Kevin Harvick, Denny Hamlin, Carl Edwards and Wallace.
Said Wallace, "I feel like we have a really strong 5-Hour Energy Chevrolet for tomorrow's race, just like we've had almost every week for the last two months or so. We've had cars capable of top-ten finishes for about the last six or eight races, but we've just had some bad luck, whether it's blown engines, pit stop problems, or whatever. The thing is, though, that our cars have been consistently fast and if we keep knocking on the door like we've been doing, eventually we're going to knock it down. Hopefully, that's exactly what's going to happen tomorrow. I'm ready to go."
Meanwhile, Wallace's teammate, David Stremme (No. 64 Avis Chevrolet), continued to be one of the most consistent drivers in the series, posting the 12th-fastest lap in the first practice session, an effort good enough to place him again among the day's top-15 drivers overall. Stremme and the No. 64 team will start tomorrow's race in search of their third-consecutive top-ten finish.
Said Stremme, "I'm very comfortable with our car for tomorrow; we were just never able to put down one really fast lap like a lot of those guys did. Our car seems to be really consistent in race trim and that's what's really going to matter tomorrow afternoon. We got a top-ten in the spring race here and I think we can have at least that good of a day here tomorrow."
The next on-track session for the Nationwide Series is tomorrow morning's qualifying session, set for 10:05 AM local time. Stremme and Wallace will be the 8th and 22nd drivers, respectively, to make attempts. The qualifying session will be broadcast live on Speed Channel, starting at 12:00 PM ET. Tomorrow afternoon's 200-mile, 200-lap event is set for a 2:30 PM local start. The race features live coverage by ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes, beginning with NASCAR Countdown, at 4:00 PM ET.