WALLACE AND STREMME HOPING TO SCORCH ARIZONA'S "DESERT MILE" AVONDALE, AZ (April 9, 2008) -- "Sometimes, there are tracks which you feel like you get around well, but you just don't have the finishes to prove it," noted Rusty Wallace ...
WALLACE AND STREMME HOPING TO SCORCH ARIZONA'S "DESERT MILE"
AVONDALE, AZ (April 9, 2008) -- "Sometimes, there are tracks which you feel like you get around well, but you just don't have the finishes to prove it," noted Rusty Wallace Racing driver, Steve Wallace. For Wallace, Phoenix International Raceway, the site of this weekend's NASCAR Nationwide Series event, is definitely one of those tracks. In his three career starts at "the desert mile," Wallace's best finish is 16th, which occurred in his first start there, the fall 2006 event. With that said, Wallace's finishes are not indicative of his most recent performance at Phoenix.
In last fall's 200-mile event, Wallace started 41st on the field, after a spin in qualifying. Despite that, he showed both speed and veteran-like patience in slicing his way through the field in Phoenix that day. During the first 30 laps alone, Wallace picked up 16 positions, to be running in the 25th spot by lap 30. By lap 138, he had moved up another seven spots to 18th. It was at that point that Wallace's magnificent run was cut short. After gaining 23 positions on the day, he was caught up in a multicar wreck involving Jamie McMurray, Greg Biffle and a host of others. The damage to Wallace's No. 66 car was terminal, but in the words of many team members, "they knew we were there."
Wallace enters Phoenix with four consecutive top-25 finishes, as well as top-20 finishes in three out of the last four events. He finished 16th in last weekend's event at Texas.
Like Wallace, teammate David Stremme has also been fast in Phoenix. In three career Nationwide Series starts at Phoenix, Stremme's best finish is third, occurring in the 2005 edition of Friday night's event. In that race, he started 11th, was among the top-15 for 89.0% of the laps and set seven of the race's fastest laps en route to his third place finish. In Stremme's most recent start at Phoenix, last year's running of this event, he was among the top-15 for 84.0% of the laps on his way to an 11th place finish.
David Stremme heads into the Phoenix event as one of the hottest drivers in the Nationwide Series, with three top-ten finishes in his last five starts. His best finish of 2008 to date came at Las Vegas, where he finished fifth.
PRIMARY: Steve Wallace and David Stremme will both pilot brand-new race cars in Friday night's event. Wallace will be behind the wheel of RWR-035, while Stremme will steer RWR-032. Both cars participated in the recent Nationwide Series test at Richmond International Speedway.
BACKUP: Steve Wallace's backup car for this weekend is RWR-033, last raced by Wallace earlier this season at Bristol, where he finished 16th after regaining a lap lost due to a penalty. The backup car for David Stremme is RWR-034. The "34 car" has no race history with RWR. Both are former DEI cars acquired during the offseason.