STREMME, WALLACE AND COMPANY RIDING HIGH HEADING INTO LONE-STAR SHOWDOWN --No. 64 Team Enters Texas with Three Top-Ten Finishes in the Last Four Events --Steve Wallace and Team 66 Coming off Best Starting Spot of Season Last Week FORT WORTH,...
STREMME, WALLACE AND COMPANY RIDING HIGH HEADING INTO LONE-STAR SHOWDOWN
--No. 64 Team Enters Texas with Three Top-Ten Finishes in the Last Four Events
--Steve Wallace and Team 66 Coming off Best Starting Spot of Season Last Week
FORT WORTH, TX (April 1, 2008) -- "My, what a difference a year makes..." That is the sentiment lately in the Rusty Wallace Racing camp. Following a 2007 performance that fell short of the team's expectations, RWR and its No. 64 entry, with driver David Stremme, heads into this weekend's event at Texas Motor Speedway as one of the hottest teams in the NASCAR Nationwide Series. Stremme's No. 64 squad enters this weekend's event at Texas with three top-ten finishes in the last four events.
RWR's No. 66 entry, with young gunslinger, Steve Wallace, behind the wheel, has shown marked improvement over last year's campaign. Following an accident-marred 2007 season, Wallace gallops into the Lone Star state with three consecutive top-25 finishes in the Nationwide Series and three consecutive races in which he has been running at the finish. Following last week's event at Nashville, in which Wallace started third, the 20 year-old cracked the top-15 in the Nationwide Series driver standings for the first time this season.
Noted Wallace, "The difference between last year and this year is night and day. Last year, our cars weren't where they needed to be and I had to drive every lap just literally trying not to wreck; we were just that far off sometimes. This year though, our cars are so much better -- we have cars that are capable of running in the top-ten, week-in and week-out. I have to attribute that to all of the changes we made in the offseason, from the hiring of David Stremme, Harold Holly and our engineering staff, to the switch to Chevrolet and everything in between; it has all made a huge difference so far this year."
Both RWR drivers are hoping to take advantage of those changes in this weekend's event and if history is any indication, both Stremme and Wallace have the speed to do it. While their finishes may not show it, both have been fast on the 1.5-mile Texas oval. Stremme's first Sprint Cup Series top-ten finish came in last year's running of this weekend's events. In three Nationwide Series starts at Texas, he has spent 40.5% of the laps in the top-15 and completed all but three laps of competition. In last season's edition of Saturday's race, Steve Wallace charged from a 17th-place start all the way to 7th, before contact with a lapped car ended his day. Wallace spent 64 laps among the top-15 before his accident.
* TEAM 66: Steve Wallace will pilot RWR-031 in this weekend's event. The "31 car" has been Team 66's workhorse through the season's intermediate-track races so far. It last raced in the previous Nationwide Series event at Nashville, where it qualified third and before that, at Atlanta. Chassis 031 was one of the first cars completed under the Harold Holly regime.
* TEAM 64: Like Team 66, David Stremme will also ride his Nashville steed, RWR-022, into Saturday's showdown. The "22 car" served as one of the team's workhorses during 2007 and was the pole winner for June 2007 event at Nashville, with Steve Wallace behind the wheel. RWR-022 was the chassis widely acknowledged as Wallace's favorite last year, with several strong showings, including the Kentucky event, where Wallace seemed to be on the cusp of his first career victory, before late-race contact with Carl Edwards ended the then-teenager's day. Further, RWR-022 was piloted by Steve Wallace in the 2007 edition of this weekend's race.