BUSCH: Bristol: Steve Wallace preview

RWI RACING STATISTICAL HISTORY AT BRISTOL MOTOR SPEEDWAY: NEWS AND NOTES: * CHASSIS HISTORY: Steve Wallace's weapon of choice this weekend will be RWI-018. In 2006, this Dodge Charger ran at Phoenix I (J. McMurray-S: 33 / F: 10), Richmond I...



* CHASSIS HISTORY: Steve Wallace's weapon of choice this weekend will be RWI-018. In 2006, this Dodge Charger ran at Phoenix I (J. McMurray-S: 33 / F: 10), Richmond I (S. Wallace-S: 20 / F: 28), Gateway, (S. Wallace-S: 4 / F: 31) and Richmond II (J. McMurray-S: 33 / F: 11). The backup car will be the most experienced car in the RWI fleet, chassis RWI-002, which has a long and distinguished history with the team.

* PERSONAL APPEARANCES: Steve is scheduled to appear at this year's Food City Race Night, to be held March 22 at the Meadowview Convention Center in Kingsport, TN. Steve is tentatively slated to appear from 5-7 PM.

* WALLACE FAMILY AT BRISTOL: Bristol is undoubtedly a special place for Steve and the rest of the Wallace family. His father, Rusty, had one of the greatest careers in the track's history. See page four for a timeline of key events in the Wallace family's careers at Bristol. In addition, Rusty Wallace owns seven car dealerships located in eastern Tennessee, all within close vicinity of the Bristol bullring.

* SCENE OF THE CRIME: In 2004, Wallace made his Bristol debut in the August Hooters Pro Cup Series event (the race was also his Hooters Pro Cup Series debut). In that event, Wallace qualified in the top-10 and stayed there for the entire day, until with 11 laps remaining, the car he was piloting veered head-on into the outside retaining wall in turn three. The crash was acknowledged as one of the most vicious ever in the track's history. Steve was airlifted from the track, but thankfully escaped relatively unscathed. Just one month later, Wallace showed incredible perseverance, as he returned to the scene of his brutal accident and dominated the inaugural Food City 150 late model stock car event, to collect both the checkered flag and some vindication.

* REDEMPTION REPEAT: Much like he did following the 2004 Hooters event, Steve returns to Bristol looking for redemption after last year's edition of this event. In that race, Wallace made his Bristol Busch Series debut, starting third and powering past Kevin Harvick in the early stages to lead the first laps of his fledgling Busch Series career. Wallace was later tagged from behind by Scott Riggs and after repairs, finished the race several laps down.

* CHASE FOR THE CARPET UPDATE: Steve Wallace looked poised to capture a top-10 finish in last week's Nicorette 300, but a late race tap from #47--Jon Wood ended Wallace's day and his chance at a top-15 finish. Wallace, a new homeowner, was desperately in need of new carpet following the purchase of his home several weeks ago, when his father, NASCAR legend Rusty Wallace, realized the situation. The elder Wallace promised his son that he would provide him with full carpeting for his new home, with one catch: Steve has to capture a top-15 finish in the Busch Series first. Since then, Steve has had three consecutive potential top-10 runs ruined by unfortunate occurrences late in the race. Noted the younger Wallace, "OK, I think the carpet has a curse on me now, but I'm not too worried. We've been fast and having really strong runs the past several weeks. We just keep having weird stuff happen to us towards the end of them, like Jon Wood spinning out all by himself and taking us out last week. That stuff is going to end soon; our finishes aren't at all a reflection of how well we're running."

* UPDATE ON CHASE AUSTIN: Following last week's announcement that 17 year-old Chase Austin will pilot a No. 66 HomeLife Communities RWI Racing Dodge in the 2007 NASCAR Busch East Series, the RWI team has been busily assembling Austin's fleet of cars for the season, which is set to start in just over a month. Noted crew chief Steve Darne, "I'm really impressed with Chase's mechanical knowledge and his work ethic. He's here every day working with us and that's what it takes to be successful. We're all really looking forward to that first race in April."


* DRIVER, STEVE WALLACE: "It's Bristol, what else can I say? It's a really fun racetrack to drive and as always, the key is going to be just staying out of trouble. If we can do that, we should have a good day. I've had a lot of ups and downs at Bristol, but no matter what, it means a lot to my family whenever we come here. Our HomeLife Communities Dodge Charger has been running really well lately; unfortunately strange things keep happening and we just don't have the numbers to show for it. Our cars have been really strong in the past at Bristol. If it weren't for getting wrecked by a lapped car late in last fall's race at Bristol, Jamie (McMurray) could have very well won with our team. I'm excited about our chances this weekend and I can't wait to put the 66 car up front on Saturday."

* CREW CHIEF, BRYANT FRAZIER: "We have a driver named Wallace at a track named Bristol. What else do I need to say? In all seriousness, I'm really proud of the job that Steve's been doing lately. He's been learning a lot and it's been a lot of fun to watch him grow. Bristol is a track that Steve really likes and one where he has some good experience. I have to say, he doesn't have a bad teacher in his father, either. I think we have a pretty good handle on what it takes to make a car fast at Bristol. Like usual though, it's just going to be a crapshoot and a question of staying alive. This is definitely a race that all of our guys get psyched for; we're ready to go get 'em."

-credit: rwi

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Drivers Rusty Wallace , Kevin Harvick , Jon Wood , Scott Riggs , Steve Wallace , Chase Austin