Gaughan, S. Wallace Score Pair Of Top-Ten Finishes In California
Although Rusty Wallace Racing’s Brendan Gaughan and Steve Wallace are two drivers both feeling out new 2009 team lineups, one would be hard-pressed to tell, based on their recent performances.
The RWR duo teamed for a pair of top-ten finishes earlier this evening in the Stater Brothers 300 NASCAR Nationwide Series event at Auto Club Speedway.
Gaughan started the event from the 11th position and throughout the evening, proved to be one of the event’s most consistent competitors. The Los Angeles-born driver spent all of the race’s 150 laps among the top-15, en route to Raybestos Rookie of the Race honors. His performance also earned him the Mobil 1 Command Performance Award for the event.
With his 9th-place finish, Gaughan jumped eight positions, to eighth, in the 2009 Nationwide Series driver standings. He currently leads the Raybestos Rookie of the Year standings, 23-16, over a four-way tie for second-place.
Meanwhile, Gaughan’s younger teammate, Steve Wallace, proved to be almost equally as formidable, spending over 92% of his laps among the top-15, on his way to a tenth-place finish for the night. His finish helped mark the second time in the last six Nationwide Series events that both RWR teams have scored top-ten finishes in the same race.
Wallace’s effort may very well be a sign of the consistency which he has sought in his early career. The race marked his first career top-ten finish on a track longer than 1.5 miles and was his fifth top-ten in his last 16 starts. Prior to his current 16-race run, the young third-generation driver had only three top-ten finishes in 73 starts.
Steve Wallace’s top-ten run in California made him the biggest mover in the 2009 driver standings, catapulting the young driver 19 positions, to 23rd. Wallace’s performance also earned him the Featherlite Most Improved Driver Award for the event.
The next event for Rusty Wallace Racing is the February 28th 300-mile event at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, the hometown track for driver Brendan Gaughan and primary sponsor South Point Hotel and Casino. The race features live television coverage by ESPN2, beginning at 4 PM ET. RWR’s Brendan Gaughan will serve as in-race reporter for the live national telecast.