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NASCAR Winston Cup ITW DeVilbiss 400 Preview: #2, Rusty Wallace

14 August 1997

 #2 Rusty Wallace, Miller Lite Ford Thunderbird      
 NASCAR Winston Cup Series
 ITW DeVilbiss 400 Advance
 Michigan Speedway
                     PENSKE DRIVER RUSTY WALLACE

BROOKLYN, MI - Even though Michigan Speedway is now the official designation 
of the 2.0-mile speed plant located near Brooklyn, Mich., the track should 
still be considered as M.I.S. for Miller Lite Team Penske driver Rusty 

M.I.S. as in Major Important Site...that is.

After all, it's on this lightning fast oval where the racing star has 
experienced many Memorable Impressive Scenarios:

Scenarios like the one that occurred on June 24, 1987. That's the date when
at the Michigan track Wallace scored his first career NASCAR Winston Cup 
pole position. It came in his 110th career start.  

Scenarios like the one that occurred on June 26, 1988. That's the date when 
at the Michigan track Wallace scored his first career NASCAR Winston Cup 
superspeedway oval win. It came in his 139th career start. He started second 
and led three times for a total of 106 of the 200 laps during the dazzling 

Scenarios such as when on Aug. 20, 1989, he won the Michigan race and became 
only the ninth driver in the history of the sport to eclipse the $4 million 
mark in career winnings...and on June 19, 1994, at Michigan when another win 
helped him surpass the $10 million mark...and on June 23 last season when he 
won again and topped the $13 million mark in the first win for his team's new 
in-house-built "PC"-style chassis race cars.

"The track has certainly been good for me and my career," said Wallace. "I 
just love racing at Michigan. I remember winning the pole there back with the 
Blue Max Team in '87.

"But, probably my favorite memories were the great runs we had in my 
championship year back in '89 when we won one of them and finished a close 
second in the other. 

"And, of course there were the big wins in the Miller races in 1994 and again 
last season. We led a bunch (led 83 laps) of the race in '94. I remember that 
we ran out of gas on pit road. Buddy Parrott was the crew chief back then and 
he was hanging onto the car shooting ether into the thing while I was trying 
to get out of the pits. That made all the television highlight reels. We 
named the car 'Captain' in honor of Roger (Penske, team co-owner and Michigan 
Speedway head). I think it was the first time he'd had one of his cars win at 
his track. Miller (his team sponsor) also sponsored the race. It was just a 
really neat deal all the way around.

"What made the win in last year's Miller 400 so extra special was the way 
that we won it," said Wallace. "Without a doubt, the four car (Sterling 
Marlin) was the strongest thing out there all day long, but we snookered them 
there at the end with the gas strategy and pulled us out a win.

"We probably had at best a fifth-place car or so, but due to using our heads 
and taking advantage of so few cautions, we came home the winners," said 
Wallace, who led only the final 10 laps of the race. "When I look back across 
my career, I can think of a ton of races that we lost to others because of 
situations like that with fuel mileage and all. When you get right down to 
it, that win in the Miller 400 at M.I.S. last year is about the only one that 
comes to mind where we actually won a race that way. It just seems like we've 
always been on the short end of the stick in those situations. That's the one 
exception where it all played out in our favor."

One thing Wallace and crew are hoping for in Sunday's DeVilbiss 400 at 
Michigan Speedway is a Much Improved Showing over their last visit in June. 
In this year's Miller 400, Wallace started 19th and finished 29th. He led 12 
laps before a series of problems hampered the effort and left him three laps 
down at the finish.

"That truly is one race that I'd just as soon forget," said Wallace. "There 
we were running in third place behind Mark Martin. We both had flat tires at 
the same time and had to hit pit road under the green. We lost a lap, but 
later made it up only to see our day go to crap with just 20 laps left in the 
race. During another pit stop my guy left the wrench in the thing after 
making an adjustment and we had to come back down pit road. Then the NASCAR 
officials said that I was speeding and they brought me back in for a 
stop-and-go penalty. The day ended with us running out of gas so I guess you 
could say that we had all the problems possible in one race without crashing 
or blowing up."

Wallace and his Miller Lite team will be using the "PC-3" in this weekend's 
Michigan race activity.

In 27 career Michigan races, Wallace has recorded four wins, 14 top-fives
(including two second-place finishes) and 17 top-10s.  

                  Rusty Wallace Career Track Records
                             (2.0 miles)

Date     Event               Car       St  Fn    Laps     $ Won   Status
6/15/97  Miller 400          Ford      19  29   197/200   32,505  Fuel Out

6/23/96  Miller 400          Ford      18   1   200/200   71,380  Running 
8/18/96  GM Goodwrench 400   Ford      20  39    77/200   28,615  Engine

6/18/95  MGD 400             Ford       5   3   200/200   44,780  Running 
8/20/95  GM Goodwrench 400   Ford      24   5   200/200   37,690  Running 

6/19/94  MGD 400             Ford       5   1   200/200   66,980  Running 
8/21/94  GM Goodwrench 400   Ford       7   4   200/200   34,070  Running 

6/20/93  MGD 400             Pontiac   15   5   200/200   26,160  Running 
8/15/93  Champion 400        Pontiac   10   6   200/200   24,115  Running 

6/21/92  MGD 400             Pontiac    8  37    69/200   13,465  Cranksh. 
8/16/92  Champion 400        Pontiac   33  21   198/200   15,040  Running 

6/23/91  MGD 400             Pontiac   23  17   198/200    6,925  Running 
8/18/91  Champion 400        Pontiac    9   3   200/200   23,600  Running 

6/24/90  MGD 400             Pontiac    3  17   200/200   18,400  Running 
8/19/90  Champion 400        Pontiac    6   3   200/200   33,900  Running 

6/25/89  Miller 400          Pontiac    9   2   200/200   53,025  Running 
8/20/89  Champion 400        Pontiac    2   1   200/200   67,900  Running 

6/26/88  Miller 400          Pontiac    5   1   200/200   64,100  Running 
8/21/88  Champion 400        Pontiac    7   2   200/200   37,200  Running 

6/28/87  Miller 400          Pontiac    1   5   200/200   25,150  Running 
8/16/87  Champion 400        Pontiac   20   4   200/200   20,650  Running 

6/15/86  Miller 400          Pontiac    7  19   195/200    9,860  Running 
8/17/86  Champion 400        Pontiac    7   6   199/200   12,525  Running 

6/16/85  Miller 400          Pontiac   13  26   194/200    5,635  Running 
8/11/85  Champion 400        Pontiac   26   7   199/200   11,395  Running 

6/17/84  Miller 400          Pontiac   11  14   199/200    7,965  Running 
8/12/84  Champion 400        Pontiac    8  35    93/200    2,715  Engine

                      Races   Wins    Top-5   Top-10  Poles   $$$$$
  Miller  400          14       3       7        7      1    446,330
  GM Goodwrench 400    13       1       7       10      0    349,415       
         TOTAL         27       4      14       17      1    795,745 

Lap completion percentage:  5,018/5,400 = 92.9%

By Tom Roberts Public Relations