Former NASCAR Cup champions Rusty Wallace, Bobby Labonte to appear at Berlin Raceway MARNE, MI -- Berlin Raceway announced today that NASCAR Nextel Cup drivers Rusty Wallace and Bobby Labonte, both former circuit champions, will appear at the...
Former NASCAR Cup champions Rusty Wallace, Bobby Labonte to appear at Berlin Raceway
MARNE, MI -- Berlin Raceway announced today that NASCAR Nextel Cup drivers Rusty Wallace and Bobby Labonte, both former circuit champions, will appear at the track in 2005. The drivers will appear at Berlin's most prestigious events, on Wednesday, June 15 and Wednesday, August 17. Fellow NASCAR driver and Grand Rapids native Johnny Benson, defending race winner of both events, will also race in both events.
Wallace will appear on Wednesday, June 15, for an autograph session with fans as part of his "Rusty's Last Call" farewell tour, celebrating his final year of racing on the NASCAR Nextel Cup tour. Wallace will sign autographs during The Berlin 100 presented by Meijer and Tony's Pizza but will not race in the event due to a contract stipulation with team owner Penske Racing. Wallace is in his 22nd and final season on the Nextel Cup circuit and won the championship in 1989.
Wallace's last visit to Berlin was in the early '80's with ASA (American Speed Association). Berlin Raceway Director of Race Operations Mike Strevel said he looks forward to Rusty's return to Berlin and said there is another guest appearance in the works.
"It's a privilege and an honor to be one of the few short tracks included in Rusty's farewell tour," Strevel said. "It's been 20-plus years since Rusty Wallace has last been at Berlin, so this will be one of the rare occasions that he will be here. We haven't worked out all of the details yet, but there is a possibility that his son, Steve, will come with him to race. Steve is only 17, and he is going to race in the Busch Series this fall when he turns 18. If that happens, it will be a great chance to see the next generation of Wallaces on his way up the ranks."
Labonte will return for the second straight year on Wednesday, August 17, to race in "The Chet" Op en Invitational presented by Comerica. He will be avenging his 14th place finish to winner Johnny Benson in last year's "The Chet" in an attempt to better that mediocre finish. Labonte will be driving one of Benson's two Late Model cars that he build specially to race at Berlin.
The 2005 season marks the fourth straight season that Berlin has brought in two NASCAR drivers and is the first year that both have been Cup champions. Drivers who have come to Berlin in the past three years are Tony Stewart and Ken Schrader (2002), Stewart and Dick Trickle (2003) and Michael Waltrip and and Bobby Labonte (2004).
Tickets for The Berlin 100 on June 15 and "The Chet" on August 17 are $25 in advance and $27 on the day of the race. Pit passes are $30 (16 and older; available day of race only). Children 3 to 12 are half price and 2 and under are free. Tickets are on sale now. For more ticket information please call Berlin Raceway at (616) 677-5000.