Talladega: Rusty Wallace Racing preview

RUSTY WALLACE RACING AT TALLADEGA SUPERSPEEDWAY: * Driving a Dale Ferguson-wrenched No. 64 Chevrolet for RWR, David Stremme was the runner-up in last year's running of the Talladega event. In that race, Steve Wallace ran amongst the leaders for...


* Driving a Dale Ferguson-wrenched No. 64 Chevrolet for RWR, David Stremme was the runner-up in last year's running of the Talladega event. In that race, Steve Wallace ran amongst the leaders for most of the day and appeared to be a contender, until being caught up in the bizarre multi-car accident set off by the lapped car of Kevin Lepage.

* Brendan Gaughan has five prior starts at Talladega, two in the Sprint Cup Series and three in the Truck Series. He has completed 100% of the laps in those five events (376 of 376 laps). Gaughan's best finish at Talladega came in the fall 2004 Sprint Cup event, in which he led seven laps en route to a fourth-place finish for Roger Penske's No. 77 team.

* While the finishes in his two prior Talladega Nationwide Series starts may not show it, young Steve Wallace has been a force recently at Talladega. In his two starts, Wallace's average mid-race running position is 6.5 and he ranks among the leaders in the following loop data statistics for Talladega: average running position (ranks 11th), driver rating (11th), fastest drivers early in a run (5th), fastest drivers late in a run (9th), green flag speed (10th), passes on backstretch (8th), quality passes (8th) and speed in traffic (10th). While multi-car accidents have ruined top-ten runs in both of his Talladega Nationwide Series starts, Wallace scored a runner-up finish in the 2006 ARCA event at Talladega.


* TEAM 62: Brendan Gaughan will seek to outrun the ghosts of Talladega's haunted high-banks this weekend from behind the wheel of RWR-019. The "19 car" served as Gaughan's backup at Daytona and has one prior start, being piloted by Steve Wallace at Daytona in February, 2008. Gaughan's backup car this weekend is RWR-029. Gaughan piloted the "29 car" to a top-15 effort earlier this year at Daytona. It has two other previous starts, at Daytona II and Talladega in 2008 with Steve Wallace aboard. Wallace piloted the chassis among the top-ten for much of the race at Talladega, before being caught up in a multi-car accident started by a lapped car.

* TEAM 66: Steve Wallace's primary car for this weekend is RWR-030, the 2008 runner-up at Talladega with David Stremme; that event is the car's only previous start. The "30 car" was Wallace's backup at Daytona. His backup car for this weekend is RWR-009, the "elder statesman" of the RWR fleet. The "nine car" made its debut at Daytona I in 2005, with Jeremy Mayfield aboard. It has a total of six starts, including a top-ten with David Stremme in its most recent race, the summer 2008 event at Daytona.


* ENERGY, PERSONIFIED: This weekend's event marks the first of 13 2009 races in which 5-Hour Energy Extra Strength will--appropriately enough--serve as primary sponsor of the ever-energetic Brendan Gaughan and Team 62. RWR is pleased to welcome Piggly Wiggly to its family of sponsor-partners for this weekend's event at Talladega.

* PERSONAL APPEARANCES: Brendan Gaughan will be signing autographs on behalf of 5-Hour Energy and Piggly Wiggly this Friday, from 4:00-5:00 PM local time at the Piggly Wiggly store in Talladega, located at 320 W. Battle St., Talladega, AL 35160; the store phone is 256.362.7949. The 5-Hour Energy Extra Strength Chevrolet Impala SS will be on display as well.


* BRENDAN GAUGHAN (DRIVER, NO. 62 5-HOUR ENERGY EXTRA STRENGTH CHEVROLET): "I'm STOKED to have 5-Hour Energy Extra Strength on our car starting this weekend. A lot of people think that I'm just naturally hyper, but little do they know that 5-Hour Extra Strength has really been my secret the whole time (jokingly)! As far as the race itself, I go into the races at Talladega and Daytona every time thinking that we've got a chance to win, but something always seems to happen. This time around, I'm just going to say, heck, I'll be happy with a top-ten or top-15. Maybe a whole reverse psychology thing will do the trick. Seriously though, I'm sure that Bryan Berry (crew chief) and my guys will put a good car underneath me--like they always do--so there's no reason we can't have a shot at this thing on Saturday."

* STEVE WALLACE (DRIVER, NO. 66 USFIDELIS CHEVROLET): "I don't know, Talladega is always just a crap shoot. The best car can finish 20th and a 20th-place car can win the race there. I feel like I've started really to get the hang of plate racing lately, but there's only so much that's in your control at Talladega. We've had top-five or top-ten cars there the past two years and just flat got taken out in one of the big multi-car crashes. Our plate program at RWR has been pretty solid lately--so I know that we'll have a strong car this weekend--but it all just comes down to putting yourself in the right place at the right time. Hopefully, we'll get lucky this time, avoid the wrecks and get ourselves in a position to contend at the end."

-credit: rwr

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Drivers Rusty Wallace , Kevin Lepage , Brendan Gaughan , David Stremme , Roger Penske , Steve Wallace