For the third time in 2010, Rusty Wallace Racing teammates Brendan Gaughan (No. 62 South Point Hotel & Casino Toyota Camry) and Steve Wallace (No. 66 5-Hour Energy Toyota Camry) combined to score a pair of top-ten finishes in Saturday night’s Kroger 200 NASCAR Nationwide Series event at O’Reilly Raceway Park.
For Gaughan, tenacity and strong pit calls were the name of the game. After starting from the 21st position, Gaughan steadily worked his way forward, cracking the top-15 for the first time just prior to lap 30 and the top-ten just after the halfway point of the race. A gutsy call not to pit during the lap 162 caution period saw Gaughan rise as high as second-place in the closing stages of the race, before ultimately scoring a sixth-place finish.
Gaughan’s effort in Indianapolis marked his 15th career Nationwide Series top-ten and his seventh top-ten of 2009. With 15 races remaining, he sits just one top-ten shy of tying his career-best single season total of eight, set last year. Gaughan’s finish also allowed him to maintain his foothold on eighth-place in the Nationwide Series driver standings, a mere 61 points behind his teammate, Steve Wallace, for seventh.
Meanwhile, after earning the outside pole for this evening’s event, Gaughan’s teammate, Steve Wallace, appeared to be one of the contenders during the first half of the event, remaining among the top-ten through lap 120 of 200. Unfortunately, an ill-handling race car and a late-race pit miscue saw Wallace fall to 23rd with just 30 laps remaining.
Frustrated, but not to be denied, the young pilot would mount a ferocious charge over the race’s final 30 laps. During that period, he gained 13 positions on a track notorious for difficult passing. That charge was capitalized by a dramatic last-lap pass of Roush Racing’s Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. for tenth-place.
Wallace’s tenth-place finish in Indianapolis was the 25th top-ten of his young Nationwide Series career and his ninth top-ten finish of 2010. His effort allowed him to tie his career best single-season top-ten total of nine, with 15 races to go in the 2010 Nationwide Series season.
With his finish at ORP, Wallace also extended his streaks of consecutive top-15 and lead lap finishes to eight. It was his second-consecutive top-ten finish as well.
Following Indianapolis, Wallace remains in control of the seventh position in the 2010 Nationwide Series driver standings. He now stands 96 points behind Kevin Harvick for sixth place and 167 points out of fifth position.
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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 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. In 2009, 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.