STEVE WALLACE PACES FINAL PRACTICE IN MEMPHIS 20 YEAR-OLD POSTS WEEKEND'S BEST OVERALL LAP; TEAMMATE AUSTIN LEADS ROOKIE PRACTICE MILLINGTON, TN (October 26, 2007)--At the site of his 2005 NASCAR Busch Series debut, Team HomeLife Communities...
STEVE WALLACE PACES FINAL PRACTICE IN MEMPHIS
20 YEAR-OLD POSTS WEEKEND'S BEST OVERALL LAP; TEAMMATE AUSTIN LEADS ROOKIE PRACTICE
MILLINGTON, TN (October 26, 2007)--At the site of his 2005 NASCAR Busch Series debut, Team HomeLife Communities Rusty Wallace Racing driver, Steve Wallace posted the fastest lap in Friday afternoon's final practice for Saturday's running of the Sam's Town 250 at Memphis Motorsports Park. His lap of 22.836 seconds (118.234 MPH) was the best of the 49 cars taking time in the session and was also the fastest overall lap posted in any of the day's three practice sessions.
Wallace made an impressive Busch Series debut at Memphis in 2005, starting 11th and coming home with a top-15 showing. During that event, he seemed poised for a sure top-ten finish until being victimized by a late race, multi-car accident. In his two career starts at Memphis, Wallace has yet to finish off of the lead lap and he expects that success to continue on Saturday; he noted, "Wes Ward, Shane Huffman and all of the guys have worked really hard lately and it definitely paid off today. We had a great test in Lakeland last week and we learned a lot that we were able to apply here. We had a fast car in qualifying trim, but I felt like it was even better in race trim. I don't want to jinx us, but I really feel that if we can manage to stay out of trouble in the race, we've got a really solid shot at a great finish."
Steve Wallace wasn't the only Rusty Wallace Racing entry that was fast on Friday. 18 year-old rookie, Chase Austin, is seeking to make his Busch Series debut on Saturday and judging from practice speeds, he is well on his way to a successful weekend. The young Kansas native topped the speed charts in Friday's rookie practice session, with a lap of 23.169 seconds (116.535 MPH); that lap bested driver development entries from nearly every major Sprint Cup Series team. Should Austin qualify for Saturday's event, he will become only the second African-American driver ever to make a Busch Series start and the first to start a Busch Series event on an oval.
Noted Austin, "Steve Darne and the guys gave me a really great car in race trim today. I feel like we're honestly top-ten or top-15 there. It really took off on older tires, versus the competition. We struggled a little bit in qualifying trim though; some of our fastest laps were actually in the middle of practice runs. Learning how to drive these cars in qualifying trim just takes experience and that's what we're here to do--gain experience. We're going out first in qualifying tomorrow, which puts us at a disadvantage, but that's just racing. We're just going to do our best tomorrow and give it all we've got; if we do that, everything else will take care of itself."