Texas: Rusty Wallace Racing race report

ADIÓS, MONKEY: STEVE WALLACE FIGHTS TO TOP-TEN FINISH IN TEXAS --Teammate Gaughan Battles Loose Car, Remains Among Top-Ten in Standings-- FORT WORTH (April 19, 2010)--For three straight races, Rusty Wallace Racing's Steve Wallace (No. 66 5-Hour...

--Teammate Gaughan Battles Loose Car, Remains Among Top-Ten in Standings--

FORT WORTH (April 19, 2010)--For three straight races, Rusty Wallace Racing's Steve Wallace (No. 66 5-Hour Energy Toyota Camry) had painfully suffered through one unfair encounter with Lady Luck after another. One of which--a crash in Nashville--even broke several bones in his right foot. However, earlier today in Texas, Wallace launched the proverbial monkey from his back with authority, roaring to a top-ten finish in the rain-delayed O'Reilly Auto Parts 300 at Texas Motor Speedway.

After starting from the eighth position, Wallace climbed as high as fifth in the race's early going. The young driver went on to run among the top-15 for 197 of the race's 200 laps and won a spirited duel with Paul Menard in the closing laps to capture a ninth-place finish.

Wallace's effort marked the fifth time in his career that he has both started and finished among the top-ten in the same Nationwide Series race. His finish in Texas marked his 20th career top-ten in the Nationwide Series and his fourth in seven 2010 starts. Wallace currently ranks second among all non-Cup drivers in top-ten finishes this season.

With his result in the Lone Star State, Wallace marched four spots forward--to 12th--in the Nationwide Series driver standings. He currently stands a mere 16 points from taking over the ninth position.

Said Wallace, "Our day started out pretty well, but as the race went on, we never got our 5-Hour Energy Toyota to handle quite like we needed. It always seemed like we were too loose to run the high groove and too tight to be fast on the bottom. There at the end, we tightened the car up and just committed to the high side. It actually worked pretty well for us until the handling went away a little bit again.

"Fortunately, running the high line gave me enough momentum off the corners to hold off some of those guys at the end and we were able to get another top-ten. It was a good points day for us too. We were looking good after the first three races, but then just got caught up in other people's messes for three straight weeks; that just killed us in the points. We have a strong team though and we'll get up there in the top-five again before the year is over."

Meanwhile, Wallace's teammate, Brendan Gaughan (No. 62 Loan Star Title Loans Toyota Camry) entered Texas on a streak of two-straight top-ten finishes, including a top-five last weekend in Phoenix. Unfortunately for Gaughan, a four-time Truck Series winner at Texas, his past success at the track would not translate to today's race.

Hopes were high in the No. 62 camp on race morning, following a strong top-15 performance in qualifying. Unfortunately, a loose handling condition would quickly force the No. 62 both out of the top-15 during the race's early going and eventually off of the lead lap.

Gaughan and No. 62 Crew Chief Brad Parrott refused to give up the fight however and brought their Camry to pit road quite consistently throughout the race, making several sweeping sets of adjustments. The results of their efforts would see Gaughan climb from as low as 33rd position early in the event, to score a 21st-place finish.

Although not quite the result they expected in Texas, the No. 62 team's finish was good enough to keep Gaughan among the top-ten in the 2010 Driver Standings. Following the Texas event, Gaughan now ranks tenth overall and stands a mere three points behind ninth-place.

Noted Gaughan, "Today was one of those days where we could just never get a handle on our car. It was really, really loose for a lot of the race and we had some problems with the front end of the car hitting really hard. We finally got our Lone Star Camry running pretty decent, but it was just too late to really help our finish a lot.

"This certainly wasn't the day we wanted, but I'm proud of my guys for hanging in there and we'll just go get them in Talladega. That's a track where I've had some great runs in the past and I'm looking forward to having another great run there next weekend in our South Point Toyota."

-source: rusty wallace racing

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Drivers Rusty Wallace , Brendan Gaughan , Paul Menard , Steve Wallace