STEVE WALLACE GRABS FIFTH-STRAIGHT TOP-TEN IN VEGAS --Teammate Brendan Gaughan and Company Back on Track with Top-15 Effort in Sin City-- LAS VEGAS, NV (February 28, 2010)--After being named by some as a dark horse for the 2010 NASCAR Nationwide...
STEVE WALLACE GRABS FIFTH-STRAIGHT TOP-TEN IN VEGAS
--Teammate Brendan Gaughan and Company Back on Track with Top-15 Effort in Sin City--
LAS VEGAS, NV (February 28, 2010)--After being named by some as a dark horse for the 2010 NASCAR Nationwide Series championship, Rusty Wallace Racing's Steve Wallace (No. 66 5-Hour Energy Toyota Camry) proved in Saturday's 300-mile race in Las Vegas that he just might be ready to shed some light on the situation.
Although battling a tight race car for much of the event, the 22 year-old wheelman managed to rank among the top-15 in over 90% of the laps on Saturday, en route to a tenth-place result. Wallace's effort marked his fifth-consecutive Nationwide Series top-ten finish, the longest such streak of his young career.
The pilot of the 5-Hour Energy Toyota is now one of only four drivers overall--and one of only two NNS regulars--who head into the NNS off-weeks with top-ten finishes in all of the 2010 events to date.
Following Saturday's round of the 2010 NNS championship, Wallace climbed one spot--to sixth--in the championship standings. He currently stands a single point behind reigning NNS champion, Kyle Busch for the fifth position and maintains a nine-point lead over Kevin Harvick for sixth.
Stated Wallace, "We had a strong 5-Hour Energy Camry for most of the day today, but we were just a little bit off--one way or the other--on the handling throughout the race. The guys at Triad Racing Technologies built us some big horsepower though and I was able to get good runs on guys using the high side of the track off of turn two, especially. We should have probably finished seventh or so, but we just got too tight and started sliding the right front tire right at the end. A couple of them got by us in the last three or four laps.
"Overall though, three top-tens is a great way for us to start the season. It always seems like the guys who can have a good start to the year and build some momentum tend to stay towards the front of the point standings for most of the year. We'll build on this and head to Bristol in a few weeks--it's one of my favorite tracks and our hot rods should really be strong there."
Meanwhile, following two weeks of frustration, Wallace's teammate, Brendan Gaughan (No. 62 South Point Hotel & Casino Toyota Camry) and his No. 62 team fought back from going a lap down to post a lead-lap 13th-place finish in Las Vegas. The effort was Gaughan's first top-15 result of 2010.
With his finish, Gaughan catapulted eight spots in the championship standings. He now sits in 20th position, 66 points from tenth and 131 points behind fifth-place Busch.
Noted Gaughan, "I had hoped for a little better finish in my hometown, but all-in-all, it was a solid points day for our team. We got ourselves in a little bit of a hole to start the year, but we're working hard and we'll dig ourselves out of it. In the end, we'll be an even stronger team because of this.
"I'm excited to get to Bristol in a couple of weeks. We won the pole there last year, but had a tire problem right at the start. Because of that, we didn't really ever get to show just how strong our car was. Hopefully, we'll be just as fast this year, but also be up front at the finish this time around."
-source: rusty wallace racing