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Newz Forum: AUTO: NASCAR: Rusty Wallace denies recent rumors

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posted on Aug, 18 2004 @ 04:29 PM
Rusty Wallace calls recent rumors of his retirement from NASCAR stock car racing premature. "Right now, my mind is 100 percent on racing," Wallace said about persistent reports that he will call it a career after the 2005 season. "If I do make that call one of these days, you guys will be the first to know because I want to celebrate it a proper way and have a good time. "Right now, I'm not prepared to talk about retirement."

The 48-year-old Wallace, fighting through a season of bad luck and bad breaks, hasn't given up on making the 10-race championship showdown for the Nextel Cup, even though he enters Sunday's race at Michigan International Speedway a daunting 294 points behind 10th-place Jeremy Mayfield with four races remaining.

The top 10 drivers in the Cup standings, plus any other drivers within 400 points of the leader after 26 races, will qualify for the "Chase for the Cup." He is 781 points behind series leader Jimmie Johnson.

"Mathematically, we're still in it," Wallace said. "I'm not a quitter, so we're going to keep digging and try to get ourselves in the top 10."

Although he has faltered at times, Wallace said his Penske Racing South team has had "an unbelievable year," including a victory in April at Martinsville that broke a 105-race, three-year winless streak.

Still, he laments all the problems the No. 2 Dodge has run into this year.

"Yeah, we finally got back to victory lane, but I would have never thought we'd had this many DNFs (did not finish) with crazy things going on," Wallace said. "This past weekend at Watkins Glen, we had ourselves in great position and then lost the transmission. At Sears Point, we ran out of gas. We blew a motor at Michigan. It goes on and on with the crazy things that have happened.

"But the good thing is the performance has been there. The car has been running great all year long. We just can't seem to close the deal. I don't know what it is."

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