By admin | January 7, 2012
By Richard Allen
On Friday afternoon Rusty Wallace, Inc., owner of Rusty Wallace Racing, announced that the racing end of their company was closing its doors and would no longer be in the business of fielding NASCAR Nationwide Series cars. The team had been formed in 2003 by championship driver Rusty Wallace. Drivers such as Jamie McMurray, Bill Elliott, Jeremy Mayfield, Mike Wallace and Rusty Wallace himself have driven for RWR throughout the team’s history. Last season the organization fielded cars for Michael Annett and Wallace’s son, Steve.
In the company’s press release announcing the shutdown, it was stated that Annett had received his release and was free to take his family’s Pilot Flying J sponsorship to seek another ride. The release also went on to say that RWI would focus its efforts toward aiding Steve Wallace “in exploring several exciting opportunities for 2012, with backing from his current RWR sponsors.”
At this late stage, with racing for the 2012 season set to begin in Daytona in less than two months, will it even be possible for young Wallace to find a ride?
Steve Wallace has competed on a full time basis in the Nationwide Series since 2007. In that time he has never won a race but has amassed six top-5 and thirty-four top-10 finishes. Perhaps his best season on that tour was in 2010 when he scored thirteen top-10s.
Wallace won four ARCA Series races in thirteen starts between 2005 and 2007.
But working against Wallace in terms of finding a ride, aside from the shortage of time to formulate a deal, will be the fact that his racing career has been marked by inconsistency and crashes. The young driver has often received criticism from fans, media and fellow competitors for his driving style.
So, will Steve Wallace be able to land a ride with any team other than one owned by his father? Well, the answer lies in the statement released by RWI when the race team closed its doors.
The NASCAR of today is sponsorship, not talent, driven. If indeed there are sponsors in place to pay some bills for another racing organization then this driver could find himself in another seat. If not, then Steve Wallace’s NASCAR career could be in serious jeopardy.
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