RWI RACING'S CHASE AUSTIN TO ATTEMPT NASCAR BUSCH SERIES DEBUT AT MEMPHIS IN OCTOBER --Teenage Wheelman Gunning for Record Books, Also Set for ARCA Debut-- MOORESVILLE, NC (August 21, 2007)--Officials of RWI Racing, LLC (RWIR) announced today...
RWI RACING'S CHASE AUSTIN TO ATTEMPT NASCAR BUSCH SERIES DEBUT AT MEMPHIS IN OCTOBER
--Teenage Wheelman Gunning for Record Books, Also Set for ARCA Debut--
MOORESVILLE, NC (August 21, 2007)--Officials of RWI Racing, LLC (RWIR) announced today that the team's 17 year-old developmental driver, Chase Austin, will attempt to make his NASCAR Busch Series debut for RWIR in the October 28th Sam's Town 250 at Memphis Motorsports Park in Memphis, TN. The Memphis round occurs just 25 days after his 18th birthday. Austin currently pilots the team's No. 66 HomeLife Communities Dodge in the NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch East Series, where he has garnered six top-15 finishes in eight starts.
In the Memphis event, Austin will wheel RWIR's No. 64 Dodge Charger, with primary sponsorship from Atlanta, GA-based HomeLife Communities. He will serve as teammate in Memphis to 20 year-old Steve Wallace, the full-time driver of the team's No. 66 Dodge Charger and a two-time pole winner thus far in 2007 Busch Series competition. Wallace made his Busch Series debut in 2005 at Memphis as well, starting 11th and battling for a top-ten finish late in the event, before a multi-car accident not of his making, relegated him to a 15th-place finish.
Should Austin qualify for the Memphis round, he will likely become the first African-American driver in NASCAR history to start a Busch Series race on an oval. Only one other time has a driver of African-American descent competed in a Busch Series event; Bill Lester started 24th and finished 21st in the 1999 Lysol 200 at Watkins Glen International, a 2.45-mile road course.
The team also announced that Austin will make both his superspeedway and ARCA RE/MAX Series debut for the team in the October 5th Food World 250 at Talladega Superspeedway in Alabama. Austin will wheel RWIR's No. 61 HomeLife Communities Dodge Charger in that event. By doing so, Austin will again take a path similar to that of his older teammate. Steve Wallace made his superspeedway debut behind the wheel of the No. 61 in last year's edition of the Talladega ARCA event. In that race, Wallace led in the late stages before a controversial call by ARCA officials to end the race early relegated him to a second-place finish.
Noted RWIR team owner, Rusty Wallace, "Chase is a very talented young man who has done a great job for us thus far in 2007, both on and off the track. Our team really feels like he has earned these two opportunities and we're excited about the chance to help him grow as a driver. Our friends at HomeLife Communities really believe in both Chase and Steve; we're all extremely grateful for everything HomeLife does for our team."
Wallace continued, "The decision to enter Chase in these events was made in preparation for next season. Like we've said before, our team will have a second Busch Series entry in 2008, in addition to Steve again being full-time in the No. 66. We're planning on Chase driving in approximately 15 of the races for the new team, with a Cup series veteran competing in the remaining 20 or so events. We're hoping to put together a development schedule for Chase in 2008 that looks a lot like the one we ran with Steve last year, in which he'll run both limited Busch Series and ARCA schedules."