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Sunday, April 12, 2009

Economy could slow Rusty's goal of moving team to Cup in 2010

This weekend in Nashville, Rusty Wallace announced that “ideally,” he’d like his Rusty Wallace Racing team – which currently features Brendan Gaughan and his son Stephen Wallace as drivers – to move up from Nationwide to the Cup level in 2010.

“Ideally, if all the moons lined up, I’d start in 2010,” Wallace said. “Two cars. I’d want Stephen and Brendan to go right in.”

Wallace said a partnership with another Chevrolet team, ideally Richard Childress Racing, would have to be worked out ahead of time in order for him to make the move to Cup. Without a partnership, it would be hard for him to maintain an adequate number of cars and engines, he said.

But even if this partnership comes through, that’s no guarantee the move will be possible. Just like everything else this year, it all boils down to one thing: The Economy.

Getting enough sponsorship dollars to run two teams full-time in Cup is easier said than done these days, even in the economy starts to pick up by the end of the year. The cost of racing at the Cup level prohibit most people from competing … and may ultimately be what stops Rusty from making the leap in 2010.

Eventually, I’m sure we’ll see him in Cup. Long a fan favorite, it will be nice to have him around in an ownership capacity in the Cup series. But I don’t know if 2010 is going to be the year we see it happen.

If it doesn’t, that’s probably not a bad thing. His son Stephen has been known for wrecking a lot, and only this year has begun to run consistently well in the Nationwide series. Perhaps another full-year run in Nationwide would help prepare him better for the more rigorous and difficult Cup competition.

Despite the tough road ahead, Wallace says he’s pumped up for the move and wants it to happen as soon as possible.
“I think it’s time, instead of getting stalled out in one series, to move up and do something different. I don’t care if people agree with you or don’t,” he said.

I wish him luck, and will be very impressed if he can pull off everything – the RCR partnership, the sponsorships, etc. – he’ll have accomplished a minor miracle, considering the state of our nation’s economy.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm a Rusty fan from WAY back, and as much as I'd love to see him back in Cup in any capacity, Brendon has proved he's not ready for cup racing years ago, and anyone with eyes can see Steven isn't ready yet either. Wait one more year, and maybe it will be worth the investment. If he tries to move up too soon, it will be a waste of time, effort and funds.

April 13, 2009 at 9:05 AM 

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