ES: Iowa: Chase Austin preview

THE STORY: Chase Austin and Team Homelife head from one of America's oldest short tracks to one of to one of its newest this weekend, as they prepare to tackle the glistening and ultra-fast Iowa Speedway. The first speedway designed by RWI team ...

THE STORY: Chase Austin and Team Homelife head from one of America's oldest short tracks to one of to one of its newest this weekend, as they prepare to tackle the glistening and ultra-fast Iowa Speedway. The first speedway designed by RWI team owner, Rusty Wallace, Iowa opened in 2006 to rave reviews from both fans and competitors alike. One of those competitors was Austin's teammate and Wallace's youngest son, Steve Wallace, who now competes for RWI in the NASCAR Busch Series. The younger Wallace carried the RWI banner in the inaugural ARCA RE/MAX Series race at Iowa and in doing so, managed to make his father proud. Steve swept the Prairie Meadows 250 weekend in dominating fashion, winning the pole, dueling with Juan Pablo Montoya and leading 177 laps en route to victory in RWI's #61 Dodge Charger. Led by Steve Darne, the same crew chief that coached Steve Wallace to victory, Chase Austin heads to Iowa looking to continue RWI's winning ways in what will be the first-ever NASCAR-sanctioned event at the 7/8-mile track.

THE MACHINE: Chase Austin heads to battle this weekend from behind the wheel of PRS-043, a former Rusty Wallace-driven Penske Racing chassis. This car was last driven by Steve Wallace in October 2006 to his dominating ARCA RE/MAX Series victory at Iowa Speedway. Ironically, it is fitting that the "43 car" should race on NASCAR's All-Star weekend, as Rusty Wallace piloted it during his final "All-Star" start back in 2005.

THE MAN AT IOWA SPEEDWAY: Chase Austin will make his Iowa Speedway debut this weekend. Unlike the majority of the field, however, Chase is not totally unfamiliar with Iowa's palatial 7/8-mile oval. The 17 year-old accompanied his Busch Series teammate and former Iowa winner, Steve Wallace, to a test there earlier this year, where he completed several stints in Wallace's No.66 Busch Series car.

NOTES OF INTEREST

The upcoming races at Iowa Speedway and Elko Speedway mark the first "combination" races of the 2007 NASCAR Grand National Division season. The two races will see the teams from both the NASCAR Busch East Series and NASCAR West Series compete against each other in the same race.

For this weekend's events at Iowa Speedway and Elko Speedway only, RWI's HomeLife Communities Dodge Chargers will don the No.64, the same number that its NASCAR Busch Series entries carried during the 2005 and 2006 seasons. This is a result of the "combination" race format, as a NASCAR West Series team sports RWI's usual number, 66, on its race cars as well. As that team is higher in its respective point standings, it was allowed to carry the number 66 for the combination races, thus forcing RWI's entry to an alternate number.

Sunday's event will feature a rare full-speed pit stop for the NASCAR Grand National Divsion teams. Pitting Chase Austin's Dodge on Sunday will be Steve Wallace's No.66 Busch Series pit crew, which has been one of the fastest in the Busch Series thus far in 2007.

PRE-EVENT QUOTES

CHASE AUSTIN, DRIVER, NO.64 HOMELIFE COMMUNITIES RWI DODGE CHARGER: "I'm excited about going to Iowa; our team has more experience there than pretty much any other team in the field and I hope that will give us a real advantage in Sunday's race. After all, the car we're running actually won the ARCA race there last fall. Rusty (Wallace) has built a really cool racetrack in Iowa; it's really fast, but you can still run all kinds of different grooves. It's one of the fastest tracks I've ever raced on and should provide a exciting race for both the fans and the drivers. I'm looking forward to carrying on RWI's tradition at Iowa and giving HomeLife Communities a great run."

RUSTY WALLACE, TEAM OWNER, NO.64 HOMELIFE COMMUNITIES RWI DODGE CHARGER: "Iowa Speedway is obviously a very special place for both me and our team. Steve (Wallace) had a really great run there in the ARCA race last year and we're bringing back the same car that he drove to Victory Lane that day, so I'm confident that Chase will have a good piece for Sunday. Steve Darne (Austin's crew chief) knows how to make a car go fast at Iowa, so I'm excited to see how everything turns out on Sunday afternoon for our HomeLife Communities team."

-credit: rwi

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About this article
Series NASCAR
Drivers Rusty Wallace , Steve Wallace , Chase Austin
Teams Team Penske