Monday, Mar 27

Last-Lap Incident Foils Top-Ten for Steve Wallace, Monster Takes a Bite Out of Annett

On the heels of Steve Wallace's (No. 66 5-Hour Energy Toyota Camry) top-five finish last week in Darlington, David Reutimann (No. 64 5-Hour Energy Extra Strength Grape Toyota Camry) kept Rusty Wallace Racing's momentum rolling in Dover, striking for the team's second-straight top-five finish in Saturday's 5-Hour Energy 200 at Dover International Raceway.

After starting shotgun on the field Saturday, Reutimann worked his way into the top-20 before lap 30.  He marched into the top-15 shortly thereafter, where he would have several prolonged battles with teammate Wallace at different stages of the race.

Ultimately, however, the race came down to being in the right place at the right time for the veteran.  Starting seventh on the final restart, Reutimann was barely able to dodge the harrowing last-lap accident that ultimately collected Wallace's No. 66 and a host of others.

Reutimann's effort at Dover, combined with Wallace's at Darlington, marked the first back-to-back top-five efforts for RWR since Brendan Gaughan at Kentucky and Elkhart Lake in 2010 and Steve Wallace at Richmond and Darlington in 2008.

For Wallace, Dover looked to be another consistent effort.  After starting 17th on the field, he remained among the top-15 and on the lead lap for the majority of the event.  He climbed as high as 12th, just prior to the final restart on lap 208.

Lined up in 12th position and shod with four fresh Goodyear Eagles for the restart, Wallace appeared to have his second-straight top-ten finish well within reach.  Unfortunately for the No. 66 team, they were just one lap shy of collecting that finish.  The No. 66 Toyota ultimately became an innocent victim of the harrowing last-lap, multi-car crash set off by Cup veterans Joey Logano and Carl Edwards.

Despite this, Steve Wallace and the No. 66 team were credited with a 16th-place finish.  That result was good enough to help Wallace continue his rapid rise in the NASCAR Nationwide Series driver standings, however.  He now stands ninth overall and is a mere four points behind Joe Gibbs Racing's Brian Scott for eighth.

Unfortunately, it was an even rougher day at the "Monster Mile" for the third 5-Hour Energy-sponsored entry, driven by Michael Annett (No. 62 5-Hour Energy / Pilot Flying J Toyota Camry).  Annett's No. 62 slammed the outside wall in turn four with just two laps remaining in the scheduled distance.  He was unable to return to the race and was credited with a 20th-place finish.

Annett's 20th-place effort, however, allowed him to maintain a foothold on 13th in the Nationwide Series standings.  He sits a scant two points behind Joe Nemechek for 12th and maintains an eight-point margin over Mike Bliss for 14th position.


Rusty Wallace Racing PR


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