NASCAR »

Rusty Wallace halts Nationwide operation

Rusty Wallace Racing has suspended its on-track activities and effectively closed its Nationwide team for 2012, after the loss of a major sponsor.
Nationwide Series team Rusty Wallace Racing has announced a suspension of its on-track activities, and released driver Michael Arnett to pursue other opportunities, after the loss of key sponsor 5-Hour Energy at the end of 2011. Around 35 team crew members were also let go.

"This was a tough decision to make, but it was the prudent one from a number of perspectives," said team owner Rusty Wallace in a team statement. "While we had several great partners - such as Pilot Flying J - on board for 2012, we just didn't feel like we had enough sponsorship in place to accomplish all of our goals."

RWR said that it would keep its business staff in place to pursue future sponsorship opportunities with the hope that the economic climate would allow them to return to the series in the future. The remaining existing sponsorship relationships would also be maintained, and the team will not be selling off its cars or any other racing assets.

In particular, the team is still trying to find funding for the team's second driver, Rusty's 24-year-old son Steve Wallace in the #66 car. For his part, Steve said that he agreed with his father's decision: "I would rather run ten races in the best equipment money could buy, than run the whole season in half-[baked] stuff, like I've been doing," he said.

"A lot of teams would have run with the level of funding we have now, but we want to ensure that our team has the resources necessary to compete and to improve our operations," explained Rusty Wallace. "I promised myself and my family long ago that if the team wasn't funded to a level with which we were comfortable, we just wouldn't run it. I've worked way too hard to put part of my life savings into a race team."

The team's former major backer, 5-Hour Energy, has now moved into sponsoring Sprint Cup competition in the form of Clint Bowyer's #15 car at Michael Waltrip Racing.

Wallace explained that since 5-Hour Energy's exit, he'd been under a huge amount of stress regarding the future of the team and was frankly relieved that the decision was finally made. "This was just occupying too much of my brain and I've never worked so hard in my life at something that doesn't make any money," Wallace explained. "My wife and I sat down and said, 'You know what, this is stressful.' It's hard on us. I haven't made any money on anything in Nationwide since 2004.

"It got to the point where I wasn't having any fun and it was too stressful. It's hard on us," he continued. "I do it because my family's in the business, I enjoy racing and I like to contribute to it. But there comes a point in time, right now, where I was getting too frustrated."

RWR is just the latest NASCAR team to hit funding problems in difficult economic times, with even top team Roush Fenway Racing having to downsize and lose the #6 car from its line-up. That put David Ragan out of a seat, although the car will at least run at the 2012 Daytona 500 with Ricky Stenhouse Jr. behind the wheel.




Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Red Bull Racing team manager Jay Frye at Pocono [Picture credit: NASCAR Public Relations]
Nationwide Series driver Steve Wallace on pit road at Lucas Oil Raceway, Indianapolis. [Picture credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR]
Nationwide Series driver Steve Wallace. [Picture Credit: Iowa Speedway]
Rusty Wallace talking to the media at Daytona. [Photo credit: NASCAR Foundation]
Steve Wallace and Rusty Wallace at Auto Club Speedway, Fontana. [Picture credit: Stephen Dunn/Getty Images for NASCAR]
Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Quicken Loans Chevrolet SS, races to an eighth place finish with Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet SS who finished in second place Saturday night, April 9, 2016 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas.  (Photo by Alan Marler for Chevy Racing)
Chase Elliott, driver of the #24 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet SS, stops in his pit on his way to a fifth place finish Saturday night, April 9, 2016 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas. Elliott takes over the #24 car from retired driver Jeff Gordon.  (Photo by Ashley R Dickerson for Chevy Racing)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe’s Chevrolet SS, races to a fourth place finish Saturday night, April 9, 2016 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas.  (Photo by Alan Marler for Chevy Racing)
Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet SS, finishes in second place Saturday night, April 9, 2016 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo by Brian Cleary for Chevy Racing)
Brian Vickers, driver of the #14 Janssen Arnie’s Army Charitable Foundation Chevrolet SS, finishes in seventh place, Sunday April 3, 2016, in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Martinsville Speedway in Ridgeway, VA (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Austin Dillon, driver of the #3 Dow Chevrolet SS, finishes in fourth place, Sunday April 3, 2016, in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Martinsville Speedway in Ridgeway, VA (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kyle Larson, driver of the #14 Target Chevrolet SS, finishes in third place, Sunday April 3, 2016, in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Martinsville Speedway in Ridgeway, VA (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
AJ Allmendinger, driver of the #47 Kroger/Butterfinger/Coffeemate Chevrolet SS, finishes in second place, Sunday April 3, 2016, in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Martinsville Speedway in Ridgeway, VA (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe’s/Superman Chevrolet SS, races to his 77th career victory, Sunday, March 20, 2016 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California.  (Photo by Garry Eller for Chevy Racing)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe’s/Superman Chevrolet SS, celebrates his 77th career win with a victory lap and checkered flag, Sunday, March 20, 2016 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California.  (Photo by Garry Eller for Chevy Racing)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe’s/Superman Chevrolet SS, celebrates his 77th career victory Sunday, March 20, 2016 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California.  (Photo by Gregg Ellman for Chevy Racing)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe’s/Superman Chevrolet SS, celebrates his 77th career victory with a wave of the chequered flag Sunday, March 20, 2016 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. (Photo by Garry Eller for Chevy Racing)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe’s/Superman Chevrolet SS, celebrates his 77th career victory, Sunday, March 20, 2016 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. (Photo by Harold Hinson for Chevy Racing)

Start the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.




© 1999 - 2016 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.