|Keselowski's Rusty tribute car|
Penske Racing and Miller Lite will honor Rusty Wallace’s 2013 induction into the NASCAR Hall of Fame with a special, throwback paint scheme on the No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger in Saturday night’s Irwin Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway.
The paint scheme will be an exact replica of the scheme Rusty used to sweep both races at Bristol in the 2000 NASCAR Cup Series season, including his landmark 50th career victory in the March 26 Food City 500. Brad Keselowski, current driver of the No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge, will attempt to continue the tradition and pull off the same season sweep this weekend.
“Rusty had a tremendous ability to excel on short tracks and demonstrated that unique talent many times, especially at Bristol,”said Roger Penske. “The 2000 season was really a special year for us there. I’m honored that we could help recognize Rusty’s crowning achievement.”
The No. 2 Miller-sponsored car from Penske Racing has scored a total of 10 wins at Bristol, with seven of those wins coming with Wallace in the seat. Wallace tallied 37 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victories as driver of the No. 2 car that he made famous.
“As the first driver to get behind the wheel of the No. 2 Miller-sponsored car in 1991, Rusty Wallace had a brilliant career and made a big contribution to the ongoing success of the Penske-Miller partnership over the years, which now continues with Brad Keselowski,” said Adam Dettman, MillerCoors sports and entertainment marketing director. “We were able to visit Victory Lane with Rusty at a variety of different racetracks, but he loved winning at Bristol. He always placed a premium on this half-mile track, and we are thrilled with the opportunity to honor him and the legacy of the Blue Deuce in this way.”
Wallace is part of the five-member class that will receive induction into the NASCAR Hall of Fame next May. The Hall chose BMS – site of nine of the 55 wins by Wallace during his illustrious career – as the perfect venue to honor the career of the 1989 NSCS champion.
The career totals for Wallace in the Miller-sponsored car at the “World’s Fastest Half-Mile” are spectacular. In 30 Bristol starts he garnered seven wins, 16 top-five finishes and 21 top-10s. In the iconic No. 2, Wallace led 3,404 laps at the track. His first win in the No. 2 came on April 14, 1991. Those stats are part of an impressive legacy of the Penske Racing No. 2 car at BMS. In 43 starts the No. 2 car has picked up 10 wins, 20 top-five finishes, 28 top-10s and has led a total of 4,075 laps.
“Being elected to the NASCAR Hall of Fame is such an enormous honor,” said Wallace. “This sport has done so much for me and I hope that I can keep giving back to it for many years to come. I couldn’t think of a better place to be honored for my induction than Bristol Motor Speedway. I’m very proud of my record there; it’s such a special venue where everyone wants to win.”Photos: Penske Racing, trpr.com