Martinsville Rusty Wallace Doesn''t Need Tank, But He Can Drive One

Martinsville, VA---Rusty Wallace, who dominated NASCAR Winston Cup racing at Martinsville Speedway in the 1990s, doesn't need a tank to get through the tight traffic on the scrub and rub .526-mile track. But if needed, he would be...

Martinsville, VA---Rusty Wallace, who dominated NASCAR Winston Cup racing at Martinsville Speedway in the 1990s, doesn't need a tank to get through the tight traffic on the scrub and rub .526-mile track. But if needed, he would be capable of driving one in the $2,168,867 Goody's Body Pain 500 on Sunday, April 9. Wallace won a fourth of the races run at the speedway in the 1990s, five out of 20, including four out of five from 1994 through 1996, and has six career victories on the demanding short track. Last October, Wallace was invited to Fort Bragg, by the North Carolina Army National Guard to drive a 60-ton, M-1 tank down one of their practice courses. He and the chief pilot for the Miller Lite Team, Bill Brooks, made their way to the base for the session. Once there, Wallace was put through a briefing session, just like a regular guardsman. He then made his way to the tank, where he was given a five-minute training session on how to drive. For the next hour, Wallace drove the length of the tank course, impressing his passengers aboard and behind in the trucks. Only one little problem, they had to keep reminding him to take it easy and slow down. "That had to be the coolest thing I've ever done," said Wallace. "I thought it would be fun when we were first invited, but then I got there and it was just super. Everybody there was just super nice. We had a lot of fun. "They invited me back in January to the firing practice. I really hated that we couldn't get down there. We were testing in Daytona. Maybe we can do it the next time. That would be awesome, no doubt about it." "It was really a cool thing to see," added Brooks. "Rusty was driving the tank as smooth as he would his race car. The guardsmen were really impressed." The North Carolina Army National Guard made Wallace an honorary Captain. "I really appreciate that they gave me this opportunity," Wallace said. "It was a lot of fun. They had to keep slowing me down though. They were afraid I'd splash in the mud. We had to take her and wash her off before we got back. "I hope to get to do it again when the schedules aren't so tight. Until then, I'll drive my Miller Lite Ford Taurus. Hey, at least in it, I can go as fast as I want to." Sharing the weekend will be the $400,037 NAPA 250 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race at 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 8 with the Goody's Body Pain 500 starting at 1 p.m. on Sunday, April 9. Great seats are available for both races by calling toll-free at 877-RACE-TIX. For more information about Martinsville Speedway go to www.martinsvillespeedway.com.

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Rusty Wallace