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Rusty Wallace Racing NNS Team To Go On “Hiatus”

| , RacinToday.com Friday, January 6 2012

Steve Wallace is looking for work as his Nationwide team, Rusty Wallace Racing, is temporarily ceasing operations. (Photo by Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)

The  economy of racing apparently has claimed another victim as former NASCAR champion Rusty Wallace has decided to temporarily shut down his two-car Nationwide Series team.

A press released stated that, “While the organization’s day-to-day competition activities will temporarily cease, key elements of RWR’s business staff will remain in place to continue development of future opportunities.

“The team is currently assisting No. 66 driver, Steve Wallace, in exploring several exciting opportunities for 2012, with backing from his current RWR sponsors. RWR will continue to maintain and manage those sponsor relationships on Wallace’s behalf.”

The sponsor of the 66 car, 5-Hour Energy, announced last season that it would move up to the Sprint Cup Series to sponsor Clint Bowyer at Rusty Wallace Racing.

No. 62 driver, Michael Annett has been released from the team and will pursue other 2012 opportunities with his longtime family sponsor, Pilot Flying J.

Wallace said, “This was a tough decision to make, but it was the prudent one from a number of perspectives. 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.

“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. 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.

“So, we collectively decided to take a break, regroup and focus on the future. We’ll keep working hard on sponsorship programs for Steve (Wallace) and for future seasons. This also allows us to focus on the other aspects of our companies and our brand as well, whether it’s our car dealerships, new track design projects, licensing, personal services or even something new.

“Nearly all of our current partners are staying on board with us to support Steve in 2012 and we’re really grateful for their support. We’re working hard on an exciting 2012 program for Steve and hope to have an announcement on his plans soon. We’re all very excited about working with our great group of sponsors both this year and well into the future.

“Most of all, I really want to thank all of our employees for their hard work and dedication. One of the hardest parts of this decision was knowing the impact that it would have on our employees and their families. It’s just the unfortunate reality that our sport is facing right now. We wish all of our employees the very best in the future.”

| , RacinToday.com Friday, January 6 2012
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