STEVEN WALLACE TO MAKE NASCAR SOUTHEAST SERIES DEBUT
Youngster Teaming Up With Richie Wauters Again
As the NASCAR AutoZone Elite Division, Southeast Series regulars are set to kick off their 2006 season Saturday night in the ‘Rock 101’ 150 at Greenville-Pickens (S.C.) Speedway, they will be joined by one of the most famous last names in racing as Steven Wallace will be in the field. Wallace – the youngest son of 1989 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series champion Rusty Wallace – is entered in Saturday night’s race and is hoping to pick up his first Southeast Series victory at the famed South Carolina short track.
pretty well. That kid has a ton of talent. It’s unbelievable how good he controls the car with as limited amount of races that he’s run so far in his career. He is so smooth behind the wheel.
“I think Steven Wallace is going to be the next great driver of the future in the NEXTEL Cup Series. It’s a pleasure to work with him. As long as you put good equipment under him, Steven can win anywhere he races at.”
Richie Wauters (left) and Steve Wallace (right) teamed up to win the Snowball Derby in 2004. (51 Photos)
Wallace is a huge fan of the Greenville-Pickens track, and notes that one of the most special parts of the track is on the backstretch retaining walls are painted with the names of past track champions like Ralph Earnhardt and David Pearson.
“It’s a cool race track,” Wallace says. “It’s important to have a car that handles good down in the bottom groove and I know from experience at Greenville-Pickens because I’ve wrecked there a couple of times. The race fans in the Greenville area really love their racing and the track is so historical it’s unbelievable.”
Steve will run a team car to Wauters' potent #5.
Wallace, a part-time competitor in the NASCAR Busch Series, will be running a car owned by close friend Ritchie Wauters.
“Me and Ritchie are like best friends,” Wallace says. “He called me up late last week and wanted to know if I wanted to race at Greenville-Pickens, so I told him I’d come down and do a little more Late Model racing with him. We’re going to go have some fun and do a little bit of short track racing because all the tracks I’ve raced on the last while have been ovals.”
Ironically, both Wallace and Wauters reunion as a team traces back to their short track Late Model roots.
“Steven Wallace is a great race car driver and I’ve had the chance to work with him before at the Snowball Derby,” Wauters says of the prestigious Late Model race held each December in Pensacola, Fla. “We were fortunate enough to win the Snowball Derby with Steven two years ago and finished second last year, so we know each other
Rusty Wallace won’t be in attendance at Greenville-Pickens as he will be in Talladega, Ala. in his role as a NASCAR Busch Series team owner for the Aaron’s 312 on Saturday afternoon. Wallace, however, is looking forward to a phone call after the race from his son.
“Ritchie was nice enough to give Steven the chance to run one of his cars this weekend at Greenville-Pickens, so he’s going to go racing this weekend to get some extra seat time,” the elder Wallace says. “Even though the chassis are totally different than a NEXTEL Cup or Busch Series car, I’m treating this weekend as a good chance for Steven to get that seat time he needs. Greenville-Pickens has always been a slick little race track, so I want Steven to get some seat time and finish that race. For him to get more and more experience under his belt is what it’s all about. Greenville-Pickens is one of those types of tracks that help every young driver get seat time and it makes them better.
“Steven is going to have a good race Saturday night and I know he’ll enjoy himself. The car he’s taking to Greenville with Ritchie Wauters is a good one so I know he’s going to be in top-notch equipment. I’m glad he’s doing it and it’s going to help him gain a lot of experience at a ‘good ol’ track like Greenville-Pickens Speedway.”