THE STORY: Known as one of the Nationwide Series' premier short track aces, Steve Wallace and his 5-Hour Energy Rusty Wallace Racing Corps storm into Richmond this weekend, looking to take no prisoners in the former southern capital. After an accident two races ago in Talladega kept the driver of RWR's flagship No. 66 from cracking the NNS top-ten, Wallace and his troops enter Friday night's battle-ironically-with tenth-place teammate Michael Annett set squarely in their crosshairs. Due to the Talladega incident, Annett now maintains a nearly non-existent two-point margin over Wallace in the current standings.
TEAM 66 PRIMARY: RWR-050-Rebuilt for 2011, RWR-050 has one prior start this season, when it finished 16th at Las Vegas with Wallace at the controls. It previously competed in the 2010 events at Michigan and Charlotte, with Wallace at the helm.
TEAM 66 SECONDARY: RWR-052-Reconfigured 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.
THE ENERGY SHOT.
WELCOME, KROGER: For the second-straight week, 5-Hour Energy Racing welcomes Kroger as a partner for the Richmond event. Kroger branding will appear on the television panel of Steve Wallace's No. 66 car during Saturday's race. This weekend's event is the first of six races in which Kroger will appear on the No. 66 car. Next up is the July 8 event at Kentucky Speedway.
FROM THE COCKPIT.
Q : You've been up on the wheel at Richmond in the past and in fact, got your first top-five there-in dramatic fashion. What do you like about racing at Richmond and what does it take to go fast there?
A: "I definitely haven't always liked Richmond, in fact the first few times I ran there, it was my least favorite track-I just couldn't get around the place and our team never ran very well there. Then we came here the next year and I got to spend a lot of time following some of the older guys-Kevin Harvick especially, I remember-and it just clicked all of a sudden. Ever since then, we've been bad fast there more often than not. Our record doesn't necessarily show it though-we've had an awful lot of bad luck there-several cut tires and pit stop penalties. If we can finally put it all together, this could be a very good weekend for our team. As far as going fast at Richmond, it's just like any short track; you've got to be able to rotate through the middle of the corner, but also have a lot of drive up off and take care of your brakes too. It'll be a battle of track position I'm sure, so fast pit stops and staying out trouble will be at a premium."