S. Wallace and Gaughan Confident in their Chevrolets for Saturday’s Race
Rusty Wallace Racing teammates Steve Wallace and Brendan Gaughan both posted top-ten speeds in Friday night’s final practice for Saturday evening’s Stater Brothers 300 at Auto Club Speedway near Los Angeles.
Wallace (No. 66 USfidelis Chevrolet Impala SS) led the RWR charge with an eighth place effort—the second-best of all non-Sprint Cup Series drivers. The third-generation pilot’s best lap of 41.181 seconds (174.838 MPH) occurred on his 18th—and final lap—of the session.
Said Wallace, “My guys did a great job today. We weren’t really happy with our car’s speed at the beginning of the session, but we worked really hard to make sure that our car handled well on old tires. When we bolted the new tires on and made our qualifying run, we were pretty close to where we need to be. I feel like I had a couple more tenths (of a second) left in it too. A slow car got in my way during our mock qualifying run and I went really wide in one of the corners to be really cautious in avoiding him. I think that our USfidelis Chevrolet is in good shape for tomorrow night and I can’t wait to get it on.”
While Wallace led the RWR effort in final practice, it was only by the slimmest of margins. For the second straight week, Brendan Gaughan (No. 62 South Point Hotel & Casino Chevrolet Impala SS) was also among the ten fastest drivers in Nationwide Series final practice. After posting the fastest time at Daytona, Gaughan was the ninth-fastest driver in Friday evening’s final practice in California. His best lap of 41.183 seconds (174.829 MPH) was just two one-thousands of a second off of the time set by his teammate.
Noted Gaughan, “I told my crew chief, Bryan Berry, that our car was good. Then I asked him what a higher degree of good is, because that’s how good our South Point Casino Chevrolet was on Friday. We have a really, really fast hot rod here this weekend in California. So hopefully, we’ll be able to stay up with the racetrack, have good pit stops, stay out of trouble and be there at the end. If we can do that, I think we really have a car that can contend on Saturday night.”