For nearly 25 years, RWI Racing team owner Rusty Wallace, has delighted fans not only with his hard-nosed and aggressive approach to racing, but also with a personality and charisma that is seemingly unmatched in the sport. When all is said and done, Wallace, a former NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series champion and 55-time race winner, will undoubtedly go into the history books as one of the greatest stock car drivers ever to strap on a helmet. Rusty ranks as one of the top-five money winners in NASCAR history, with nearly $50 million in career earnings. His 55 career victories mark the eighth best all-time career total and the seventh best in NASCAR's modern era; his 19,941 laps led rank him seventh all-time. For sixteen consecutive seasons, Wallace won at least one race on NASCAR's premier circuit, marking the third longest such streak in history.
In his last year on the NASCAR circuit, Wallace left fans with an appreciation for his vast contributions to the growth and popularity of NASCAR racing. Nine active race facilities permanently honored Wallace and more than a dozen State, city, and county seats of government declared race day as officially-recognized Rusty Wallace Days. In addition, bestowed upon Wallace were Delaware's Order of the First State and North Carolina's Order of the Long Leaf Pine, the highest civilian honors possible in those States.
With his impeccable track record, Wallace knows first-hand what it takes to be successful on the racetrack. As owner of RWI Racing, a NASCAR Busch Series team, he has put this knowledge to work even further. The team, in its third full season of competition, campaigns the No. 66 Dodge Charger, driven by Wallaces 19 year-old son, Steve. Under the elder Wallace's leadership, it did not take the team long to step into the NASCAR Busch Series victory lane, as Jamie McMurray captured the checkers for RWI Racing in what was only the team's sixteenth-ever start, the 2004 BI-LO 200 at Darlington Raceway.
Wallace's most recent undertakings have allowed him to put his immense knowledge and charismatic personality to use even more. In 2006, Wallace was named Lead Auto Racing Analyst for ABC/ESPN. Last season, Wallace honed his broadcasting skills as lead analyst for the networks' coverage of the Indy Racing League, including the Indianapolis 500. In 2007, Wallace will serve as lead analyst as ABC/EXPN makes its long-awaited return to NASCAR coverage. He will be in the broadcast booth for the final 17 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series races, 30 of 35 Busch Series events and the famed Indianapolis 500.
In addition to broadcasting, Wallace has followed the lead of other sports greats, such as Jack Nicklaus, by entering the field of facility design. In 2005, Wallace became the first racing driver in recent NASCAR history to design a racing facility. The next year, the 7/8-mile Iowa Speedway, Wallaces first design, opened to rave reviews. He is currently designing Riverside Motorsports Park, near Fresno, CA and is in negotiations on several other track design projects.
Although retired from driving, the legendary Wallace has hardly slowed down. Wallace remains as intense as ever, but also enjoys relaxing on the golf course and piloting his Learjet 31A. Rusty Wallace currently resides near Charlotte, NC with his wife, Patti.