For all you Rusty Fans out there (Both of Us :)




Wallace Sites June Race As "Super Test" For Sunday's 200-Lap, 500-Mile Race

LONG POND, Pa (July 23, 2002) -- Rusty Wallace and his Bill Wilburn-led Miller Lite Team Penske started fifth and finished ninth at Pocono Raceway last month. They are confident that they will be even more competitive when the NASCAR Winston Cup Series returns to Pocono for this weekend's Pennsylvania 500. If history has anything to do with it, you can count on that being the case.

"Just like I've been saying, we're gonna' be a bunch stronger when we go back to these tracks the second time around and Pocono will mark the first place other than Daytona for a return trip this year," said Wallace, a four-time race winner and three-time pole winner on the 2.5-mile triangle-shaped track.

"With the harder Goodyear tires we've been running and the aerodynamics now so critical, we've basically had to start over with all of the setups we use," said Wallace, the "Comeback King" in last Sunday's New England 300, where he made up a lost lap to post a fourth-place finish. "What we ran just a couple of years ago when we won the July race just won't get the job done any more. Things have changed just that much.

"But what we have going for us this week really has us with high
hopes," said Wallace, who jumped back up to fourth in points after the New Hampshire race, now trailing leader Sterling Marlin by only 127 points. "We'll have the exact same car we had there in June and we have a ton of notes to go by. You might say that the June race was a super test for us leading into this weekend's race, if you want to look at it that way."

Statistics favor Wallace and crew to fare better this time around. A quick look at Wallace's career record at Pocono sees that three of his four wins (75 percent) have come in the second races there. Six of his nine top-five finishes (67 percent) have come in the second race and 10 of his 16 top-10 finishes (63 percent) have come in the July return trips.

Wallace and crew debuted their new "PC-47" in June at Pocono. When water seepage in the turns of the track cancelled qualifying, officials used the point standings to set the field and Wallace started in the fifth spot. He fought a loose handling condition for much of the race and fell back as far as 22nd at one time, before battling back to finish ninth. It marked his 16th career top-10 finish at the track.

"We made more adjustments there that day than any race I can remember in a long time," Wallace recalled. "We took a rubber out of the right rear and wound up putting one in the right front. We added four rounds of wedge during the race and messed with the air pressures all day long. Just before the final pit stop, the car was the best it was all day long. We went with two tires for the track position which has become so important. That made the car just too tight at the end."


After going 24 races between top-five finishes (from 9/30/01
at Kansas Speedway to 7/6/02 at Daytona), Rusty Wallace has now posted two top-five finishes in the last three races.Wallace is back up to fourth in the point standings, trailing leader Sterling Marlin by 127 points, second-place Mark Martin by 72 points and third-place Jimmie Johnson by 35 points.


There could be something special about Rusty Wallace's "PC-49" Ford Taurus. In Sunday's race at New Hampshire, only the second race that the car has been used, Wallace started third
and led 59 laps en route to a fourth-place finish. The statistics show that it was the first race Wallace has led since debuting that very same car at Martinsville back in April (11 races ago). "It's a great little hot rod," Wallace said after Sunday's fourth-place finish.


"It's more than important," said Miller Lite Team Penske crew chief Bill Wilburn of the importance of track position after his team finished fourth in Sunday's New England 300. "Today, it's the most critical aspect of the's life or death," he said as he looked at the scoring sheet presented to him by team scorer Kim Franklin. "Just look here.30 cars finishing on the lead lap. We went with two tires and fuel several times today just to stay up there. We'd even planned to gas and go with 100 laps to go before there were more cautions. It's that way everywhere we go these days and you better believe it'll be that way at Pocono."


After leading early in Sunday's New England 300, Rusty Wallace lost a lap when the right front tire was cut and went flat on lap 112, forcing Wallace to pit under green. He fell to 37th in the running order at that time. He later made up the lap when the eighth caution flag of the race flew on lap 158 for debris on the track. Leader Matt Kenseth slowed enough to allow Wallace around before taking the yellow. Wallace went on to post a fourth-place finish.

"That could very well turn into the most important lap of our season," crew chief Bill Wilburn reasoned when discussing the race on Monday morning. "Needless to say, I went down there to the 17 truck (Kenseth's team transporter) and thanked Robbie (crew chief Robbie Reiser) for working with us.

"The bottom line is that if we didn't make up that lap, the best we
could have finished was 31st because there were still 30 cars on the lead lap at the end. That would have been a difference of 90 points. Just think what that might mean at the end of the season. Just looking at the standings right now, that would be the difference between being where we are.fourth in points and 127 points out of first.and being sixth in points and 217 points behind Sterling (Marlin, points leader). Being able to finish all the laps is something that we're really proud of." Wallace has completed all but seven of the possible laps this season (4,880 of 4,887) for a 99.9 percent lap completion average.
Sorry Tabasco.... am one and dam proud of it! Thanks for the article mlitefan01. I hope Rusty is at the front table in NYC. I'll be drinking the champagne with him..from home of course!!:beerchug:
Rusty still says "Super" and I love it!!! Number 2 is on my fantasy team, very consistant this year, keep it up!
Not getting the top 5's and wins as of yet. But they dont matter as long as your consistent. Which he is. And when your consistent those wins will have to come.
:alien: :alien:
I , for one, am glad to see Rusty back up front where he belongs!! The top fives, and winsshould be coming soon. Look for him to run good at Watkins Glen...
:D :D :D
i am proud of rusty and his growth. he really came a long way in his communicating to others without crying.
Awesome Bill- Rusty has 2 top 5's this year so far...Louden and Pepsi 400. No wins yet..but that will change soon. Consistency never hurt anybody..especially being 4th in points.

24thunder- you crack me up!!!:p
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