Talladega: Rusty Wallace Racing race report

STREMME STORMS TO RUNNER-UP FINISH AT TALLADEGA --Steve Wallace and Team 66 See Potential Victory Ruined by Strange Multi-Car Accident-- TALLADEGA, AL (April 28, 2008)--After a day of ups and downs for Team Atreus Homes & Communities Rusty...

STREMME STORMS TO RUNNER-UP FINISH AT TALLADEGA
--Steve Wallace and Team 66 See Potential Victory Ruined by Strange Multi-Car Accident--

TALLADEGA, AL (April 28, 2008)--After a day of ups and downs for Team Atreus Homes & Communities Rusty Wallace Racing at Talladega Superspeedway, one thing rang clear: the young team has truly established itself as a contender in the NASCAR Nationwide Series.

David Stremme, piloting the team's No. 64 Atreus Homes & Communities Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS, tied his best career Nationwide Series finish, with a runner-up effort in Saturday's Aaron's 312. His effort marked his best since a second-place finish at Milwaukee in 2004. It was also the team's best finish since a second-place effort by Jamie McMurray in November, 2004 at Homestead.

Noted Stremme, "I'm really proud of the effort that my Atreus Homes team put forth this week. We had a good car, good stops and we were able to be in the right place at the right time. I'm not sure that we had anything for the 20 car at the end, but if we could have had our teammate around, it would have been a lot of fun to try."

While Stremme's performance was remarkable, it was his young teammate, Steve Wallace and his No. 66 team, which appeared to give RWR its best shot at victory through the race's 2/3 mark. After starting the race from the 25th position, Wallace had sped into the top-ten by lap five. By lap 45, Wallace had taken over the 2nd spot and was on the back bumper of leader, Tony Stewart, with Stremme and his uncle, No. 7--Mike Wallace, in tow.

Despite spending 62 of his 70 laps among the top-15, Wallace's strong effort came to an end on lap 70, in one of the strangest events in recent NASCAR history. As the field exited the tri-oval, Wallace was the second car in the inside lane, behind Carl Edwards. At the same time, the lapped car of No. 61--Kevin Lepage exited pit road and--at a speed estimated to be nearly 50 mph slower than the leaders--veered directly into the path of the field, causing a violent accident which eliminated nearly half the field from competition.

While Stremme, on the high side of the racetrack, was able to avoid the accident, Wallace, on the bottom and in fourth place, had nowhere to go. His No. 66 car was destroyed in the incident, thus ending the strong run for the young wheelman and his Atreus Homes & Communities Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS.

Noted Wallace, "I still can't believe what happened...first of all, let me thank my guys; they gave me a great car today. I could go anywhere I wanted on the track and our Atreus Homes & Communities Chevrolet would draft with just about anyone out there. We had gotten ourselves in a good position, with the 64 car and the 7 car right behind us; we were just waiting and trying to get positioned for the last lap. Then, all of a sudden, out of the corner of my eye, I saw this red blur come up off the apron. I turned right all I could, but there was nothing I could do; it was such a shame. I really thought that we had a shot at this one. Coming off our good run at Mexico though, our strong run today definitely helps to carry that momentum into Richmond next weekend."

-credit: rwr

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About this article
Series NASCAR XFINITY
Drivers Tony Stewart , Rusty Wallace , Kevin Lepage , Jamie McMurray , Carl Edwards , David Stremme , Steve Wallace