STEVE WALLACE AND TEAM 5-HOUR ENERGY CHARGE TO TOP-TEN FINISH IN NASHVILLE --Teammate Brendan Gaughan Sees Potential Top-Ten Ended by Strange Accident-- LEBANON, TN (July 7, 2009)--In what was his 100th career NASCAR Nationwide Series...
STEVE WALLACE AND TEAM 5-HOUR ENERGY CHARGE TO TOP-TEN FINISH IN NASHVILLE
--Teammate Brendan Gaughan Sees Potential Top-Ten Ended by Strange Accident--
LEBANON, TN (July 7, 2009)--In what was his 100th career NASCAR Nationwide Series start, Rusty Wallace Racing's Steve Wallace (No. 66 5-Hour Energy Chevrolet Impala SS) scored his fourth top-ten finish of the 2009 season Saturday evening, in the Federated Auto Parts 300 at Nashville Superspeedway.
Wallace climbed as high as third place en route to his seventh place finish and spent 209 of the race's 225 laps among the top-15. His effort marked his second top-ten in the two races held at Nashville Superspeedway in 2009, the first time in his career that Wallace has scored multiple top-ten finishes at one track in a single season.
Steve Wallace's result in Nashville earned him the Featherlite "Most Improved Driver" award for the event and moved him up one spot, to 11th, in the 2009 driver standings. He currently trails teammate Brendan Gaughan by a mere 33 points for tenth-place and sits less than 100 points from 6th place Mike Bliss.
Noted Wallace, "Our 5-Hour Energy Chevrolet was really fast all night. I feel like we had a car capable of running in the top-five, but it just took our car too long to come in on new tires. We lost too much time right at the beginning of a run.
"I'm not going to complain though; it was a good run for our team and hopefully, a sign of more good things to come. I'm really looking forward to heading to one of my favorite tracks, Kentucky Speedway, next week and trying to score an even better finish there."
After a seventh-place start, Wallace's RWR teammate, Brendan Gaughan (No. 62 USfidelis Chevrolet Impala SS) seemed poised to score RWR's second top-ten of the evening, until trouble struck the team just prior to its final pit stop.
With approximately 30 laps remaining, Gaughan was running in the 11th position when he brought his No. 62 to pit road for its final pit stop of the evening. As Gaughan guided his car into its pit stall, Marc Davis (No. 10), who was numerous laps down to the leaders, slowed dramatically and turned left across pit road, directly in front of Gaughan's pit stall.
Gaughan subsequently slammed into the No. 10 car, causing substantial damage to the USfidelis Chevrolet. The damage forced Gaughan and his No. 62 to the garage for repairs, putting the team 14 laps down to the leaders in the process.
Said Gaughan, "Believe it or not, this had me at a loss for words for a moment. I hate it for our team, our sponsors, for everyone. It was just a stupid move by the other guy; that's all there was to it. Our USfidelis Chevrolet wasn't perfect all night, but we had made a lot of adjustments to it and we were probably going to end up in the top-ten by the time the race was over.
"I was coming down pit road for our last stop and turned into my stall as I usually would for a green flag stop. Then, all of a sudden, there's a car turning directly in front of our pit stall. There was nothing I could do.
"I went up to him (Davis) in the garage; he said that his crew chief told him it was OK to turn left behind the wall. The thing is, as a driver, you're the guy in control of the car, not your crew chief. It's up to you to assess the situation. That's the kind of thing you're supposed to learn way before you get to this level of professional racing.
"With that said, at least we managed to stay in the top-ten in points after all of this. Our guys have worked hard and put together a really nice car for me to run next week in Kentucky, so we'll try to go get them again there."