BUSCH: Daytona II: Steve Wallace preview

THE LOWDOWN THE STORY: Team HomeLife Communities and driver Steve Wallace move to the World Center of Racing this week, fresh off several strong showings and a trend of improvement in the previous month, including an impressive performance in...


THE STORY: Team HomeLife Communities and driver Steve Wallace move to the World Center of Racing this week, fresh off several strong showings and a trend of improvement in the previous month, including an impressive performance in last week's NEXTEL Cup companion event in New Hampshire. Combining this momentum with Wallace's strong outing in the last restrictor plate race at Talladega has the team riding high heading into this weekend's event on the hallowed high banks of Daytona.

THE MACHINE: Steve will pilot chassis RWI-007 in Daytona's draft on Friday night. The "7 car" has been RWI Racing's restrictor plate workhorse recently and has started both restrictor plate races thus far in 2007. It has been rebuilt following the late race accident that ended a potential top-five run for the team at Talladega in April.

THE MAN AT DAYTONA: Steve Wallace's only career start at Daytona came in the February 2007 Busch Series event there. In that race, Wallace and several other top contenders were taken out of contention by a large multi-car accident early in the event. The RWI team rallied to repair the vehicle, but found themselves several laps down to the leaders when they returned to competition. This does not mean however, that the 19 year-old hard charger is not a contender for victory on Friday night. In this year's last restrictor plate event at Talladega, Steve turned in what many would consider one of the best performances of his fledgling career. Wallace ran among the leaders for most of the day at Talladega, even overtaking Casey Mears for the race lead at one point. Unfortunately, a tap from Ganassi's Reed Sorenson with only eight laps remaining ended Team HomeLife Communities' chances for victory. For 24-hour online access to the RWI Racing media guide, press releases, photos and more, please visit media.rustywallace.com and select "Request Access."


Over the past several weeks and months, Steve has received many words of wisdom and encouragement from NEXTEL Cup Series drivers; many of these words have centered on their initial forays into the Busch Series. To date, Steve has competed in 36 career Busch Series races; the following table compares Steve's performance in his first 36 events to that of select top NEXTEL Cup Series drivers, none of whom reached the Busch Series level as early as Steve has done. The data shows that despite several 2007 finishes that may have been lower than the team would have liked, Steve Wallace is very much on track for success.


HELLO HERMAN: Kenny Wallace returns to action this weekend, for the second consecutive event, as chief spotter and driver coach for Steve Wallace and the No.66 team.

CLEANING UP THE COMPETITION: Following primary sponsorship of the No.66 Dodge in the two previous Busch Series events, Rapid Industrial Cleaning will again adorn the 66 car in next weekend's race at Chicagoland Speedway. Rapid will also serve as primary sponsor at Michigan and one other 2007 event to be determined.

STEVE WALLACE LIVE: Steve Wallace will be available for public autographs at approximately 4:45 PM on race day, this Friday, at the Rusty Wallace & Company / ESPN merchandise trailer located on speedway grounds. This appearance is subject to change due to the unpredictability of on-track events. Please check with the trailer operators for any changes.


In the 2006 edition of Friday night's event, RWI's No.64 Dodge started 33rd, was ninth at mid-race and ran as high as fourth en route to an 11th place finish. The team was among the leaders in the loop data categories for that race.


STEVE WALLACE, DRIVER: "After our run at Talladega, I'm really excited about going to Daytona. Although I've only run a few restrictor plate races, I really enjoy doing it. There's a lot of strategy and thinking that goes into it as a driver. You've always got to be thinking a few moves ahead in those races and the more experience I get, the better I'll be able to do that. We've had pretty good success on restrictor plate tracks in the past, so I'm looking forward to building on our run at Talladega and this time around, getting the finish that HomeLife Communities and our other great partners deserve."

BRYANT FRAZIER, CREW CHIEF: "Daytona can be a tough place for which to set up a car. On one hand, you have to have the brute straightline speed of course, especially for qualifying. During the race though, Daytona becomes much, much more of a handling track than most people believe. Even at night, that place gets really hot and slick, so you must have downforce built in the car in order to keep it turning during the race, especially when you're in traffic. We typically build our restrictor plate cars to run well in race conditions and we've done that this time around. Because of that, our car might not qualify that well, but come race time, I feel very confident that you'll see Steve and our HomeLife Communities Dodge go right to the front."

-credit: rwi

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Drivers Rusty Wallace , Kenny Wallace , Casey Mears , Reed Sorenson , Steve Wallace