BUSCH: Michigan: Steve Wallace preview

* Steve Wallace heads to Michigan this weekend with the distinction of being the youngest professional event winner in the track's illustrious history. Wheeling Penske Racing's ...

* Steve Wallace heads to Michigan this weekend with the distinction of being the youngest professional event winner in the track's illustrious history. Wheeling Penske Racing's #27 Kodak Dodge, Wallace captured his first ARCA RE/MAX Series victory at Michigan in 2005. Race day will mark Wallace's 20th birthday and with help from new crew chief Tony Liberati, the series' youngest full-time driver hopes to give himself a birthday present in the form of a top-ten run.

* THE MACHINES: Steve Wallace hopes to ice his birthday cake this weekend from behind the wheel of RWI-024. The "24 car" is a new car with no previous history. It was the final car built under the direction of previous RWI crew chief, Bryant Frazier. The team's secondary vehicle this weekend is RWI-020. It has three starts thus far in 2007, including a top-15 at Nashville. The "20 car" also paced happy hour at Darlington.

* THE TEAM AT MICHIGAN: It was at Michigan in August 2005 that Steve Wallace burst onto the national stage, leading 84 of 106 laps en route to his first career ARCA RE/MAX Series victory. The win came just one day after his 18th birthday and made him the youngest professional event winner in Michigan International Speedway history. It was his first-ever start on a track larger than one mile. Just one year later, RWI Racing and driver David Stremme, had one of the most dominating performances in recent stock car racing history, lapping the entire field and leading 99 of 100 laps en route to victory in the Spring 2006 ARCA event at Michigan.

* HAPPY BIRTHDAY: Race day, August 18, 2007, will mark RWI Racing driver Steve Wallace's 20th birthday. He is currently the youngest full-time driver in the Busch Series. RWI Racing team owner, Rusty Wallace, celebrated his 51st birthday on Tuesday (August 14) as well.

* NEW CAPTAIN(S) AT THE HELM: The Michigan event marks the first race for new RWI Racing crew chief, Tony Liberati. With his appointment, Liberati becomes the third permanent crew chief in RWI Racing history. Liberati started his 21-year racing career in 1986 and since, has worked with many championship-caliber drivers including Jimmie Johnson, Mark Martin, Jeff Burton, Matt Kenseth and Todd Bodine. Michigan will also mark the first race for RWI Racing's new General Manager, Rick Carpenter. Carpenter comes to RWI after stints with Jasper Motorsports and Penske Racing, where he managed the No.77 Cup series effort.

* RUSTY TO UNRETIRE? NOT SO FAST: Despite recent reports that Rusty Wallace had entertained an offer to drive in the 2008 Sprint Cup Series for Richard Childress Racing, he has no plans to drive in 2008 and beyond. Stated Wallace, "They (RCR) approached me a while back and asked if I would consider driving for them in 2008. It's certainly flattering to have interest from a great team like RCR, but my broadcasting agreements won't even let me own a Cup team, much less drive for one. I'm retired from driving and really enjoying my TV career right now."


"Michigan is definitely a racetrack that's really special to me; I got my first superspeedway win there. It's really wide and fast; that kind of track really suits me. It's nice to go back to some of these tracks now and have a little bit of experience there. Visiting some of these tracks for only the first or second time really puts you behind sometimes. This is a really big weekend for us; we've got a great new sponsor on board in Jimmy John's, it's the first race for our new crew chief and general manager, we've got a really sweet new hot rod just for this race and to top it all off, race day is my birthday. Hopefully we can really pull all of that stuff together and have a great run on Saturday; I'm ready to go."

-credit: rwi

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About this article
Drivers Jeff Burton , Matt Kenseth , Rusty Wallace , Todd Bodine , Jimmie Johnson , David Stremme , Steve Wallace , Mark Martin
Teams Richard Childress Racing , Team Penske