Wallace Looking for a shot to take home Jeff Byrd 500 Trophy
Rusty Wallace won nine times at Bristol Motor Speedway during his illustrious NASCAR Sprint Cup career. Needless to say, each one of those wins has a very special place in his heart.
But there is one race at Bristol that the current ESPN analyst feels would surpass all others in terms of relevance if he was still competing.
“I can tell you one thing, I’d just about give anything to be able to be in the Jeff Byrd 500 and win that race,” Wallace said. “This is the one and only time there’s gonna be a Jeff Byrd 500 and to me, it would be very special to have that trophy.
“I’ve got nine Bristol trophies, including the one from my first (Sprint Cup) win, but I really think it would special to have the one named for Jeff. Whoever does win that race, that’s gonna be one special victory.”
Byrd, the longtime president and general manager of Bristol Motor Speedway, passed away last Oct. 17. While Wallace has always loved racing at the World’s Fastest Half-Mile, he said Byrd’s kindness, generosity and love of NASCAR definitely left an impression on him.
“Jeff was one of those guys, when you talked to him, you knew he really, truly was interested in talking to you. He was always smiling. He always knew how to make every person he talked to know that they were important to him. He just took care of people and treated everybody so well.
“And he took this race track to a whole other level. Bristol’s always been a great track, but Jeff built it into what it is today. And nobody’s got anything like it anywhere.”
Wallace has been asked many times why someone hasn’t built another Bristol Motor Speedway. He says the answer to that is simple.
“Bristol cannot be duplicated,” he said. “You can make the banking like Bristol, but you won’t have this Bristol. You wouldn’t have the electricity. You think you can just pop one of these babies up somewhere and it be equally successful? I don’t see that ever happening. This is a destination, a special place. It’s like a Super Bowl atmosphere every time you come here. No, there’s nothing anywhere like it and you could never, ever duplicate it.”
“I know when you win a lot of races at a track it becomes your favorite and there’s no question that Bristol Motor Speedway is my favorite track. The biggest racing in the country is right here in Bristol and that’s why fans love it so much.”
Tickets for the Jeff Byrd 500 Presented by Food City March 20 are available for $93, while tickets for the Scotts EZ Seed 300 (March 19) start at $45. Ford Fan Friday tickets (March 18) are only $5 and are just $4 for fans who have tickets to the Jeff Byrd 500.
A March race weekend package for both the Scotts EZ Seed 300 and the Jeff Byrd 500 can be purchased for as low as $99.
The 2011 season ticket package also is available and consists of both the Jeff Byrd 500 and IRWIN Tools Night Race Sprint Cup events and the Scotts EZ Seed 300 and Food City 250 Nationwide races. Also included are lower-priced options to add Pole Day (March 18) and the O’Reilly Auto Parts 200 Camping World Truck Series/UNOH Perfect Storm 150 Whelen Modified Series races (Aug. 24).
Bristol Motor Speedway PR