THE STORY: Steve Wallace and Team 5-Hour Energy head south to the supposedly haunted grounds of Talladega Superspeedway this weekend, looking to right their 2011 campaign and bust their way into the top-10 of the Nationwide Series standings. Wallace is currently ranked 11th overall, seven points out of 10th.
A HELPING HAND: The No. 66 and No. 62 cars-along with the other Toyota factory teams-will carry graphics supporting the American Red Cross's Japan Disaster Relief efforts again this weekend in Talladega. V6 and V8 engines for Toyota's Tundra, Tacoma and Sequoia lines are produced in nearby Huntsville, AL. Donations to support the relief efforts can be made online at redcross.org.
STEVE WALLACE AT TALLADEGA: Although his record at Talladega may not show it, Steve Wallace has become a threat among the Nationwide Series drivers on restrictor-plate tracks recently. He has four top-15 finishes in his last six starts at Talladega's sister track-Daytona-and scored a lead-lap top-20 effort in his Sprint Cup Series debut at this year's Daytona 500. Wallace nearly captured a victory at Talladega in the 2006 ARCA event, finishing second.
TEAM 66 PRIMARY: RWR-056-Car 056 made its debut in this year's first restrictor plate race at Daytona. In that event, Wallace piloted the car among the leaders until unscheduled stops for multiple flat tires ultimately put him two laps down.
TEAM 66 SECONDARY: RWR-052-Re-built for 2011, RWR-052 has yet to make its 2011 on-track debut. It scored a top-15 finish in its first start at Daytona last year.
FROM THE COCKPIT.
Q: Your thoughts on racing at Talladega?
A: "Well, racing at Talladega is hard to call racing, to be honest with you. Handling doesn't really come into play; it's just being able to stay wide open, picking good drafting partners and hoping that you don't get in the big crash. You know there's going to be at least one big multi-car crash at Talladega; it's just a matter of when and where. With that said, I'm sure that the two-car drafting stuff that we saw at Daytona will happen even more at Talladega. Maybe that will break the field up a bit and keep some of the crashes from happening-but who knows? For some reason, I never seem to have the luck at Talladega that I do at Daytona as far as the big crashes. I think that we have a pretty good 5-Hour Energy Toyota here this weekend, though. Hopefully we'll be able to hook up with our teammate, stay out of the crashes and come out of this weekend with a top-10 and some points; at Talladega, that's all you can really hope for."
-source: rusty wallace racing