Rusty Wallace back in the saddle again

Brad Keselowski helps NASCAR Hall of Fame member Rusty Wallace get adjusted in the No. 2 Team Penske Ford before hitting the track during Friday's Preseason Thunder testing at Daytona International Speedway.

Nigel Kinrade

Something special took place Friday afternoon at Daytona International Speedway that brought together NASCAR’s past and present in a unique way. NASCAR Hall of Fame member Rusty Wallace shook off the dust and climbed behind the wheel of a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series car for the first time since hanging up his helmet in 2005. 

As part of a promotion for Miller Lite, Wallace teamed up with Brad Keselowski and Team Penske to drive the No. 2 one more time. 

Of course, there was some friendly banter between former rivals Wallace and FOX commentator Darrell Waltrip before hitting the track. 

Once inside the car, the 57-year-old former champion made multiple runs around the 2.5-mile facility, posting some of the fastest lap times of the day. 

After climbing from the car, Wallace was full of smiles. 

"I gotta tell you. I just want to thank everyone back at the shop that made this happen," Wallace said. "Everyone in the Penske organization, Tim Cindric, Roger Penske. I really wanted to get back into the car and get a good feel of this Gen-6 car here at Daytona. Not only did they let me run a couple of times, but they let me run most of the day today and the car is fantastic. It is real smooth and nice and the crew was so kind. I hope I helped them out some. I gave them a lot of feedback. This guy here next to me has been really good to me all week long and I really appreciate it."

The session appeared to be an overall success for Keselowski, Wallace and the entire No. 2 team, with Keselowski tweeting his confidence following the test. Perhaps it was Wallace’s imput that made all the difference.