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NASCAR Notebook for Wednesday

by Dave Grayson
Wednesday, August 3, 2011


There were some rather interesting comments heard during the NASCAR Indiana weekend relative to observations regarding a bizarre accident during the Nationwide Series held at the Lucas Oil Raceway. Some of those comments absolutely deserve to be repeated.

On lap 177 of the Kroger 200 NASCAR Nationwide Series race there was an accident involving three cars that necessitated a red flag race stoppage. The cars driven by Tim Andrews, #40 Key Motorsports Chevrolet, and Michael Annett, #62 Rusty Wallace Racing Toyota, somehow found each other and slammed hard into the wall. A mere matter of seconds later, James Buescher, #30 Turner Motorsports Chevrolet, lightly tapped the rear bumper of the #66 Rusty Wallace Racing Toyota driven by Steve Wallace. The Wallace car spun and slammed into his team mate's car as well as hitting the Andrews car. Thankfully the three drivers walked away uninjured but the same could not be said for their badly damaged race cars. 

You could almost sense the uncomfortable atmosphere within the ESPN live broadcast booth manned by Marty Reid, Ricky Craven and Rusty Wallace who had just witnessed his two drivers, including his son, get caught up in a very hard crash not to mention the complete destruction of the two race cars he owns. Rusty Wallace, well known for never mincing words during the course of delivering an opinion, immediately said that he felt the tap from Buescher on his son's car was the reason Steve Wallace was sent flying into the other motionless cars on the track. It was an opinion not exactly shared by his broadcast colleague Ricky Craven who chose his words very carefully and diplomatically called it a racing incident. The video replay indicated that the contact between Buescher and Wallace occurred several seconds, and a significant amount of feet, prior to the first part of the crash. In fact it also appeared that Wallace hit the gas pedal in an attempt to drive his way past the pair of wrecked cars.

This was later confirmed during a live ESPN post crash interview when Steve Wallace said: "he, (Buescher), bumped me a little bit getting into turn three. Meantime my spotter said check up, check up, check up. I got on the brakes and the car got sideways and it just slid up into the corner. There was nothing I could do. I tried to nail it to accelerate away from (team mate) Michael (Annett). It was just one of those racing deals."   

Prior to this crash there was a long green flag run of approximately 62 laps. Rusty Wallace made the comment that he felt we had not seen the last of the yellow flags in the race and reminded us all that this was short track racing. After the crash a seemingly exasperated Wallace said "I knew there was going to be another caution. I just didn't think it was going to be my cars. Do you have any idea how much money this just cost me?"       

Unfortunately for the Wallaces, the comments didn't end there and were extended into the days that followed this Nationwide Series race. Even Sprint Cup driver Denny Hamlin weighed in on this issue, via his twitter account, and said "wow. 66 car, (Steve Wallace). Just my opinion but that "touch" from the 30, (Buescher), didn't make U plow into a wreck that's 30 seconds old. Ouch."

But the strongest observation came a few days later via the SPEED Channel's "Race Hub" program. It's very well known that every Tuesday night Jimmy Spencer makes some very unique observations regarding the NASCAR racing from the previous weekend. He awards fancy cigars to NASCAR individuals he's impressed with and passes out crying towels to those he's not too thrilled with. Sometimes he even awards a straight jacket to individuals that he thinks are just plain crazy.

On this particular Tuesday night "Race Hub" host Steve Byrnes couldn't wait to ask Spencer if Steve Wallace was going to receive a crying towel. That's when Spencer went into high gear and said "oh sure he is. Oh my God, for the 6,327th time he crashed. You know Steve, he's never been to a crash that he didn't want to be a part of. This one was very tough though, these guys were stopped. Steve, you literally hit a parked car-two of them."

At this point the SPEED Channel presented the Steve Wallace post wreck interview from ESPN. When Spencer heard the young driver say it was "a racing deal" he grabbed another forward gear and said "Steve, this is just not one of those racing deals. It's your racing deal. Crash, crash, crash I crashed again."

Some "Twitter" comments from fans were equally without mercy and the following is a random sampling of their thoughts.

"Say what you want to about (Brickyard 400 winner) Paul Menard. Unlike Steven Wallace he figured out what to do with Dad's toy."

"Steve Wallace really worked hard to crash into two parked cars."

"Steve Wallace crashed and it wasn't his fault. I'm in shock and awe right now."

"Odds that Steve Wallace wins: 1000 to 1. Odds that Steve Wallace causes a wreck: 3 to 1. Odds that Steve Wallace gets wrecked: 1 to 1."

As driver Denny Hamlin said at the end of his "tweet": "ouch."

The final thoughts on this subject comes from the young driver's Uncle: Kenny Wallace. In one of his "tweets" Kenny Wallace presented us with some philosophy and said: "the world is in turmoil. Let's all live in a tree house and NEVER take a shower. Ha ha ha. Oh, negativity rules these days."

It was also duly noted that Kenny Wallace received a "tweet" that read: "If I was you I wouldn't call Rusty for a couple of days."

In all fairness to Steve Wallace, it has to be pointed out that a few days later there was an unconfirmed report that indicated there may have been fluids on the track from the other two wrecked cars and that's how he got involved in this incident.

The bottom line here is: Rusty Wallace Racing will repair their #66 Toyota and Steve Wallace will be lined up next weekend at the Iowa Speedway ready to race again.

For right now, all of the above is nothing more than some comments that deserve to be repeated. 

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