Las Vegas: Rusty Wallace Racing preview

RUSTY WALLACE RACING AT LAS VEGAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY * RWR AT LVMS: In 2004, LVMS was the spot for the debut of the "re-born" Rusty Wallace Racing effort, when rookie Billy "Catfish" Parker posted a top-15 start at the helm of the No. 66 Duraflame...


* RWR AT LVMS: In 2004, LVMS was the spot for the debut of the "re-born" Rusty Wallace Racing effort, when rookie Billy "Catfish" Parker posted a top-15 start at the helm of the No. 66 Duraflame Dodge. Since then, RWR cars have gone on to capture one top-five and three top-ten finishes at the desert oasis. In eight starts at Vegas, Rusty Wallace's "hot rods" have failed to start among the top-15 only twice.

* STEVE WALLACE AT LVMS: Steve Wallace storms into what will be his 125th career NNS start this weekend suddenly being named by many insiders a dark horse contender for the 2010 Drivers' Championship...The 22 year-old wheelman enters Vegas on a roll of four consecutive top-ten finishes, dating back to Phoenix II in 2009. The streak is the longest such of his career...Wallace is currently ranked seventh in the driver standings and the highest-ranked full-time Toyota NNS driver...While his finishes may not show it, Wallace has been fast at Vegas in the past. In last year's event, he qualified sixth and ran among the top-ten before being taken out by Dale Earnhardt Jr. under yellow in what could--at best--be called a "suspicious" accident...In three starts at LVMS, Wallace has qualified no worse than 12th.

* BRENDAN GAUGHAN AT LVMS: The son of a Vegas casino owner, Brendan Gaughan looks to be a sure bet this weekend in "Sin City." In last year's event at LVMS, Gaughan started 13th and survived the slugfest of a race to bring home a seventh-place finish...Gaughan won the 2003 NASCAR Truck Series event at LVMS from the pole...In two starts at LVMS, the No. 62 team has finished no worse than seventh, with David Stremme wheeling the then-No. 62 car to a top-five for the team in 2008.

* TRUCKIN' ON--RWR's Steve Wallace and Officials of Billy Ballew Motorsports announced this week that Wallace will make his NASCAR Truck Series debut next weekend in Atlanta. Wallace will pilot BBM's No. 15 Red Top Auto Auctions Toyota Tundra in the event.

* LUCKY NUMBERS--In a city where numbers and luck mean everything, this weekend's event occurs on a peculiar date for RWR--2/27. 2 and 27 are the car numbers made famous by car owner, Rusty Wallace, during his illustrious 21-year driving career. Coincidence? Maybe...or maybe not.

* AUTOGRAPH SESSION--Brendan Gaughan and Steve Wallace will appear for autographs on Friday evening at the South Point Hotel & Casino. Rusty Wallace is tentatively slated to appear as well. Contact the South Point for more information.

* GAUGHAN AND COMPANY BACK IN BLACK--Like in 2009, Brendan Gaughan's No. 62 South Point Hotel & Casino Toyota Camry will again sport a paint scheme reminiscent of Rusty Wallace's famed No. 2 from the early 1990's. However, this year, the throwback concept gets more authentic, as three members of the No. 2 team from that era are now on Gaughan's No. 62 team. Former No. 2 tire specialist, Brad Parrott is Gaughan's crew chief, while former No. 2 crew chief, Buddy Parrott is the spotter for the No. 62. The venerable Mark "Hollywood" Armstrong is RWR's pit crew coach and tire changer for Gaughan's teammate, Steve Wallace.


* NO. 66--STEVE WALLACE: Fresh off the heels of a sixth-place finish in its debut last weekend in SoCal, Steve Wallace's primary chassis for this weekend remains RWR-040. Chassis 040 is a new car recently built by RWR, with aerodynamic direction through its partnership with Joe Gibbs Racing. His backup car for the weekend is RWR-042, a former CJM Racing car originally built in late 2009 under the direction of now-RWR crew chief Scott McDougall, for drivers Denny Hamlin and Mike Bliss.

* NO. 62--BRENDAN GAUGHAN: Gaughan's primary car for this weekend is RWR-024, which Gaughan steered to a seventh-place finish last year at Vegas. The "24 car" was last year's Bristol spring pole winner and also nearly scored a victory at Kentucky. His backup is RWR-020, which he wheeled to top-ten finishes in both events at California last year. The 20 car paced the first practice at LVMS last year, before being lost in a crash during happy hour.


* STEVE WALLACE (NO. 66 5-HOUR ENERGY TOYOTA CAMRY): "Las Vegas is a pretty fast track that's gotten a lot "racier" with age; it's a little bumpy, so that just adds another variable that teams have to deal with. One thing that's for sure about what the guys out there have done; they've built a beautiful facility that's a lot of fun for fans to visit.

"Las Vegas can be a fun place for teams and drivers to visit too, but when our No. 66 team comes to town for the race, it's all business. We have some good momentum right now and we're going to do our best to carry that through this weekend. If we can come out of Vegas with at least another top-ten heading into Bristol in a few weeks--where we know our hot rods will be up front--we'll be looking pretty good."

* BRENDAN GAUGHAN (NO. 62 SOUTH POINT HOTEL & CASINO TOYOTA CAMRY): "I love racing at Las Vegas. First and foremost, it's my hometown, so it's always a lot of fun to hang out with my friends and family over at the South Point Hotel & Casino.

"That aside, we always seem to run well there. It's a track where you can at least start to run a second groove, so it suits me pretty well. We've had a good amount of success there too. I've won a race and a pole there in the trucks and we had a great run in the Nationwide Series race there last year as well.

"Our South Point team hasn't quite gotten the finishes that we wanted thus far this year, but we have a solid group of guys and the more that my new crew chief--Brad Parrott--and I work together, the better this team will get. I really think that Vegas will be the place that we get our 2010 season back on track."

-source: rusty wallace racing

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Drivers Dale Earnhardt Jr. , Rusty Wallace , Brendan Gaughan , Mike Bliss , David Stremme , Denny Hamlin , Steve Wallace