Dover: Rusty Wallace Racing race report

STREMME SURGES TO THIRD-PLACE FINISH IN DOVER --Teammate Steve Wallace Rock-Solid in 11th-Place Effort, Jumps to 11th Place in Standings-- DOVER, DE (May 31, 2008)--Following a series of strong performances over the last month, Rusty...


--Teammate Steve Wallace Rock-Solid in 11th-Place Effort, Jumps to 11th Place in Standings--

DOVER, DE (May 31, 2008)--Following a series of strong performances over the last month, Rusty Wallace Racing teammates David Stremme and Steve Wallace continued their storm through the Nationwide Series standings this afternoon, in the Heluva Good 200 at Dover International Speedway.

With help from a heads-up pit call by crew chief, Dale Ferguson, Stremme and his No. 64 Atreus Homes & Communities team scored a third-place finish Saturday afternoon, their third top-five result of 2008. Although the No. 64 Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS was strong all day, spending 163 of the 200 laps among the top-15, it took a brilliant pit call by Ferguson to position the team among the top-five for the race's final stint.

The No. 64 team entered the pits in the 13th position for the race's final stop on lap 156, but Ferguson's call for two tires placed the team in the third position for the ensuing restart. The "clean air" brought Stremme's Chevrolet to life and the Hoosier was able to hold off late-race charges by David Reutimann and Greg Biffle to come home with a "podium" finish.

Noted Stremme, "This was my best career finish at Dover and I'm really proud of everyone on our Atreus Homes & Communities Chevrolet team. For a Nationwide Series-only operation like ours to have the strength to compete with teams like Gibbs and Roush really says a lot for the caliber of people that we have at Rusty Wallace Racing. Our team has a ton of momentum right now and I can't help but think that our first win is just around the corner."

Meanwhile, Steve Wallace and his Harold Holly-led No. 66 Atreus Homes & Communities squad overcame a sub-par qualifying effort to come home with an 11th-place effort this afternoon, Wallace's best career Dover finish and the team's ninth top-twenty effort in the last 11 Nationwide Series races.

After starting from the 26th position, it did not take long for the young hard-charger to storm his way towards the front of the field. Wallace and his No. 66 Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS broke into the top-twenty in just fourteen laps, but his progression did not stop there.

Wallace moved into the 16th position by lap 51 and clawed his way into the top-15 following a round of pit stops during the lap 104 caution period. Over the race's final 50 laps, Wallace showed great maturity, dodging a plethora of accidents and holding off several Cup-affiliated teams, to score an 11th-place finish.

His veteran-like performance at Dover came on the heels of a four-race stretch which saw Wallace and his No. 66 team score two top-five and three-top ten finishes. Those performances, combined with the team's effort today, have catapulted Wallace another spot, to 11th, in the 2008 driver standings, just behind his teammate, Stremme.

Said Wallace, "Our car wasn't perfect today, but Harold (Holly) and my guys worked really hard and got it better and better as the race went on. After qualifying like we did, today was a solid effort for us. You always want to do better, but we'll definitely take today's finish. Our runs over the last month or two really give our team a ton of solid momentum heading into the three stand-alone races. We're the defending pole-winner for next weekend's race at Nashville and we almost won the race at Kentucky last year. I feel like we've got a real chance to put our No. 66 Chevrolet in Victory Lane soon."

With his effort today, Stremme and his No. 64 team maintained their foothold on a top-ten spot in the Nationwide Series owners' standings, a mere three points from 8th place. Meanwhile, Wallace's performance moved his No. 66 team ever-closer to the top-ten. Following today's event, the 66 squad is within 12 points of 15th place in the owners' standings.

The next event for Team Atreus Homes & Communities Rusty Wallace Racing is next weekend's Federated Auto Parts 300 at Nashville Superspeedway. No. 66 wheelman, Steve Wallace, is the race's defending pole-winner.

The Nashville event is scheduled for a 7:30 PM Eastern start and features live television coverage by ESPN2. Team owner, Rusty Wallace, along with fellow ESPN personalities, Alan Bestwick and Brad Daugherty, will kick off the Nashville coverage with NASCAR Countdown, beginning at 7:00 PM Eastern. Shortly thereafter, Wallace will join Dr. Jerry Punch and Andy Petree in the booth, where the trio will provide live color commentary for the race broadcast.

-credit: rwr

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Drivers Rusty Wallace , Greg Biffle , David Reutimann , David Stremme , Steve Wallace