Back in the saddle: Rusty Wallace to run test laps in No. 2 car

Rusty Wallace (left) and Brad Keselowski talk during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Martinsville Speedway last October.

Jerry Markland/Getty Images

Penske Racing and Miller Lite announced Wednesday that NASCAR Hall of Famer and 1989 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Rusty Wallace will drive the No. 2 Miller Lite Ford Fusion Thursday during the first day of Sprint Cup Series preseason testing at Daytona International Speedway. The occasion coincides with the 25th anniversary of Wallace’s 1989 championship and the approaching 40th anniversary of the original Miller Lite beer.

Wallace will wear a firesuit with the original Miller Lite logo during the test. This retro firesuit will also be worn by the No. 2 car’s regular driver, Brad Keselowski, and the No. 2 Miller Lite Ford team crew members at the upcoming Daytona 500, as well. The Miller Lite Ford Fusion will also feature a commemorative white Miller Lite paint scheme for the "Great American Race."

"I am pretty pumped up about this," said Wallace. "This is a big deal, and I can’t wait to get the No. 2 Miller Lite Ford up to speed — especially at Daytona. … Man, what a fantastic way to start the year."

The last time Wallace piloted the storied No. 2 Penske machine was at the season-ending race at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Nov. 20, 2005.

"This is a terrific way to pay homage to the heritage and prestige of the No. 2 Miller Lite Ford," Keselowski said. "To have Rusty Wallace, a NASCAR champion and a NASCAR Hall of Fame inductee, assist Miller Lite in recognizing the long association they have had with Team Penske and NASCAR is something special. I feel privileged to be a part of it."

Miller Lite and Team Penske began their more two-decades long relationship with Wallace driving the No. 2 car. During his time behind the wheel of the Miller Lite machine, Wallace earned 39 victories.

"Miller Lite is proud of our heritage and partnership with Team Penske," said Ryan Reis, senior director of marketing for Miller Lite. "Having Rusty Wallace on board to celebrate the original light beer and our rich tradition with NASCAR is something our fans are excited about."