EVENT: Alliance Truck Parts 250, Round 15 of 34 in the 2011 Nationwide Series
DATE / TIME: Saturday, June 18, 2011, 3:30 PM ET
VENUE: Michigan Int’l Speedway, Brooklyn, MI (2.0-Mile Oval)
DISTANCE: 125 Laps, 250 Miles
TV (PRE-RACE): NASCAR Countdown, ABC (Live-3:00 PM ET)
TV (RACE): ABC (Live-3:30 PM ET)
RADIO: MRN Radio / Sirius (Live)
THE STORY: Team 5-Hour Energy RWR’s Steve Wallace (No. 66 5-Hour Energy Toyota Camry) rolls into the Irish Hills of Michigan this weekend sporting five finishes of 12th or better in his last six NASCAR Nationwide Series starts. During that period, Wallace has climbed three spots-from 11th to 8th-in the NNS driver standings. He currently leads ninth-place-Joe Gibbs Racing’s Brian Scott-by 19 points. This weekend’s event marks a homecoming event of sorts for the 5-Hour Energy team, as Living Essentials-the maker of 5-Hour Energy-is located in nearby Farmington Hills, MI.
HAPPY 500TH: Should David Reutimann start RWR’s No. 64 car in Saturday’s race, the event will mark Rusty Wallace’s 500th career start as a NNS car owner. Wallace’s debut as an owner came while piloting his own No. 66 Alugard Pontiac to the pole position in the 1985 season opener at Daytona. Wallace eventually finished fourth in that event.
STEVE WALLACE AT MICHIGAN: Steve Wallace’s MIS debut came in the 2005 ARCA RE/MAX Series event, in which he piloted Roger Penske’s No. 27 Kodak Dodge to victory over David Ragan and Ken Schrader in the Hantz Group 200. Wallace’s victory was his first career ARCA win and made him the youngest professional event winner in MIS history, at the age of 18 years and one day. His best career NNS finish at Michigan was a top-15 in the 2009 running of this weekend’s event.
PIT CREW CHANGE: As in 2010, pit crew coaches from Toyota teammates, Joe Gibbs Racing, have again started training RWR’s No. 66 and No. 62 pit crews. In line with this, Wallace’s No. 66 team will debut new players at Rear Tire Changer, Jackman and Fueler this weekend.
TEAM 66 PRIMARY: RWR-058-RWR’s most successful car of 2011, chassis 058 enters Michigan with one top-five and two top-tens in its last two starts-at Darlington and Charlotte.
TEAM 66 SECONDARY: RWR-052-Reconfigured as an intermediate car for 2011, car 052 has yet to make its 2011 on-track debut, but scored a top-15 in its first start at Daytona last year.
THE ENERGY SHOT:
WELCOME ABOARD: 5-Hour Energy Racing welcomes Meijer and Admiral Convenience Stores as partners for the Michigan event. Branding from both stores will adorn Wallace’s No. 66 Toyota in Saturday afternoon’s race.
DID YOU KNOW?: 5-Hour Energy contains a blend of B-vitamins, amino acids and essential nutrients. It contains zero sugar, zero herbal stimulants and four calories. The amount of caffeine varies depending on the energy shot. Original 5-Hour Energy contains as much caffeine as a cup of premium coffee. Extra Strength contains as much as 12 ounces of premium coffee, while Decaf 5-Hour Energy contains only as much caffeine as a half cup of decaffeinated coffee.
FROM THE COCKPIT:
STEVE WALLACE (NO. 66 5-HOUR ENERGY TOYOTA CAMRY): “Michigan’s a wide, fast track with long straightaways. Horsepower’s at a real premium there. With the new engines that some of the other manufacturers have, we might be at a little bit of a deficit in terms of power, so we have to work really hard on making sure our car handles well and lets us keep up as much momentum as possible. We’re taking our best car there, so we should have a pretty good shot at doing that. If we can maintain track position and have good pit strategy, our 5-Hour Energy Toyota should have a good day. It’s a pretty big weekend for our team. We’ll have a lot of 5-Hour folks at the race, so it’d be cool to have a good run this weekend.”
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About Rusty Wallace Racing
North Carolina-based Rusty Wallace Racing (RWR) is a professional auto racing team steeped in the legendary racing history of its founder, Rusty Wallace. The team currently campaigns the No. 66 and No. 62 Toyota Camrys-driven by Steve Wallace and Michael Annett, respectively-in the NASCAR Nationwide Series. RWR will also campaign the No. 64 Camry in select 2011 events. RWR entries have finished among the top-ten in the Nationwide Series driver or owner standings in each of the last three seasons. For more on Rusty Wallace Racing, please visit the award-winning rustywallace.com.