THE STORY: Fresh off a season-best 11th-place effort at Bristol, Steve Wallace and the 5-Hour Energy squad head westward to the City of Angels this weekend riding a bit of momentum. After mechanical issues struck the team in the first two events, the No. 66 squad's finish and points rank have improved in each of the last three races.
PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT: RWR's No. 66 and No. 62 teams completed a two-day test session at the one-mile Pikes Peak International Raceway earlier this week, before continuing their westward trek to Auto Club.
A HELPING HAND: The No. 66 and No. 62 cars-along with the other factory Toyota teams-will carry graphics supporting the American Red Cross's Japan Disaster Relief efforts this weekend in California. The Los Angeles area serves as the U.S. home to Toyota Motor Sales.
STEVE WALLACE AT AUTO CLUB SPEEDWAY: Steve Wallace enters this weekend's event on a streak of two-straight top-tens, three-straight top-15s and four-straight lead-lap finishes in the Spring event at Auto Club. He has completed every lap of the Spring event throughout his career and has not started outside the top-15 in the previous four races overall at Auto Club.
TEAM 66 PRIMARY: RWR-058-Car 058 is new to the RWR fleet and will make its debut this weekend at Auto Club.
TEAM 66 SECONDARY: RWR-052-Rebuilt as an intermediate car for 2011, car 052 has yet to make its 2011 on-track debut. It scored a top-15 finish in its first start at Daytona last year.
SHOW CAR SCHEDULE: Steve Wallace's No. 66 5-Hour Energy show car will make appearances at several Vons locations this week: Fontana, CA (3/24, 12:00 PM-2:00 PM), Rancho Cucamonga, CA (3/24, 4:00 PM-6:00 PM), Upland, CA (3/25, 12:00 PM-2:00 PM) and La Verne, CA (3/25, 4:00 PM-6:00 PM).
from the cockpit.
Q: Up this weekend is Auto Club Speedway, the largest unrestricted oval track in the series. What do you think will be the keys to success this weekend?
A: "Having big time horsepower is really important at California. With the long straightaways there, it's more important than anywhere else. The sustained RPM at California is so high though, that reliability can be an issue too. I know the folks at Triad are working really hard for us on the engine front. Other than that, you've got to work hard to get your car handling well so you can keep your momentum up through the corners and down the long straightaways. This race seems to come down to fuel mileage a lot too, so your engineers have to be really on top of that. As always, you'll still have to have good pit stops and stay out of trouble too."
-source: rusty wallace racing