NASCAR

TOTALLY CHAMPIONS WEEK: Rusty Wallace

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Ryan McGee

 
   
 

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Watch every evening this week at 6 p.m. local on Fox Sports Net and 6:30 p.m. ET on SPEED for Totally Champions Week profiles on Winston Cup championship contenders and more. With five races to go, it is time to get a move on for every driver still in the 2002 NASCAR Winston Cup points chase, but the clock ticks a little louder for . Rusty sits squarely on the bubble ¿ fifth in points, 182 markers back ¿ just 18 points inside of the 200-point ¿you are out of contention¿ line.


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  • ¿We aren¿t out of this yet,¿ says the St. Louis native. ¿We¿ve got five weeks left to make some noise and a couple of real good tracks for us. If we¿re proved anything over the last couple of weeks, it¿s that one weekend can change this whole deal.¿ That ¿one race¿ for Wallace may very well be the next one. A trip to Martinsville means one thing for the Winston Cup Series ¿ a lot of cars will get torn up and Rusty will contend for the win. If the right cars run into trouble, the six-time Martinsville winner could cut his points deficit in half. Then again, the same could be said for his chances at Atlanta (two wins), Rockingham (five wins), or Phoenix (one wins). But Martinsville is where he can make up the most ground. ¿Yeah, we are always a threat to win at Martinsville,¿ says the man whose last and only Winston Cup title came 13 seasons ago. ¿But we need to be a threat to win at all of these tracks coming up. We just need to win a damn race. That would solve a lot of problems.¿ The fact that he is even in the hunt is amazing. Wallace is the only driver in the top 13 in points without a win. He has the lowest number of top 10 finishes of anyone in the top seven. It has been consistency beyond the top 10 that has been his saving grace, posting only one DNF in 31 races and 10 finishes between 11th and 19th. Those stats are great for the dog days of summer. Now he needs wins. The time is now for the 46-year old elder statesman of the garage. He is certainly not getting any younger and psssst¿don¿t tell him this, but he may not even be the number one car out of his own raceshop anymore.

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