The “roller coaster” of a 2010 season continues for Rusty Wallace Racing teammates Steve Wallace and Brendan Gaughan.
While Sunday afternoon’s 312-mile NASCAR Nationwide Series event at Talladega Superspeedway unfolded in different fashions for the two teammates, the result was much the same; both Wallace and Gaughan saw their races come to an unfortunate end with multi-car accidents.
For Wallace, his race came to a halt rather quickly, when Roush-Fenway teammates Carl Edwards and Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. collided around lap 20, setting off one of Talladega’s famed multi-car accidents on the frontstretch. An innocent bystander, Wallace’s No. 66 Toyota was collected in the incident and saw its front end destroyed.
The resulting damage to the engine of the No. 66 car forced the team out of the race. Just one week after recording his fourth top-ten of 2010, Wallace was credited with a 39th-place finish in Talladega. That finish saw in Wallace drop two positions in the Nationwide Series driver standings; the young driver now sits 14th overall, but less than 100 points from the eighth position.
Said Wallace, “I don’t know what we have to do to catch a break, but we’re going to find out. That’s four weeks where we’re just cruising along and got taken out in someone else’s accident. Our 5-Hour Energy Toyotas are fast; we just have to make it to the end of these races. The good news is that we’re heading to Richmond—one of my favorite tracks—next weekend. I know we’ll be really fast there; hopefully, some karma will swing back our way and we’ll be able to put our No. 66 car in victory lane.”
Meanwhile, Wallace’s veteran teammate, Brendan Gaughan, ultimately suffered the same fate as Wallace in Talladega, although it took him a bit longer to arrive there. After being spun without contact in the lap 20 incident, Gaughan recovered to run amongst the top-ten at several points throughout the day. Despite fighting overheating issues, his No. 62 team seemed assured of making it to the finish, until contact among the leaders—in the final turn of the last lap—set off yet another multi-car accident.
Gaughan’s No. 62 Toyota suffered catastrophic damage in the incident. Unable to nurse his car across the start-finish line, Gaughan would ultimately be credited with a 27th-place finish. As a result, the No. 62 pilot fell two spots—to 12th overall—in the driver standings; he currently sits 38 points from eighth.
Noted Gaughan, “Our South Point Camry was pretty darn strong. We would get to the front and get a little hot, then go to the back and keep waiting. As for the accident, I really couldn’t tell you what happened; I couldn’t see what started it. In these restrictor plate races, you’re nose to tail and you just can’t see. I just know this was last race for that race car (before the introduction of the Nationwide Series COT on restrictor plate tracks) and unfortunately, it didn’t get to come home in one piece.”
# # #
About Rusty Wallace Racing
North Carolina-based Rusty Wallace Racing (RWR) is a professional auto racing team steeped in the legendary history of its founder, Rusty Wallace—one of NASCAR’s top-ten drivers of all-time. The team currently campaigns the No. 66 and No. 62 Toyota Camrys in the prestigious NASCAR Nationwide Series, driven by Steve Wallace and Brendan Gaughan, respectively. Last season, RWR stood as the only team with multiple drivers among the top-ten in the final Nationwide Series driver standings. For more on Rusty Wallace Racing, please visit the award-winning rustywallace.com.