Chat with Rusty Wallace
During his career, Rusty Wallace managed to win 55 races in NASCAR's top series, including his 1989 NASCAR Cup championship. Rusty was also named NASCAR's Rookie of the Year in 1984.
Send your questions now and join Rusty in The Show on Monday at 1:30 p.m. ET!
Buzzmaster (1:22 PM)
ESPN's NASCAR analyst Rusty Wallace will be by to chat at 1:30 p.m. ET!
Buzzmaster (1:38 PM)
We've got Rusty!
Rusty. I would love to see you make a comeback. Any chance of that?
Rusty Wallace (1:39 PM)
Well, I've been getting a couple of offers and I made a decision to not do that. I like working with ESPN. I like working in the studio. but I still have a hard time not driving a car. But as of now, I'm not coming back.
How great of an overall sports accomplishment is this?
Rusty Wallace (1:40 PM)
Well, it's one of the all-time accomplishments in sports that I've ever seen. You can compare it to all the stick and ball accomplishments. And to what Yarborough did. But it's an incredible life changing accomplishment. I hope he gets his time to shine. I hope people don't forget about it quickly.
How dominant is JJ?
Rusty Wallace (1:41 PM)
Amongst his peers, they all think that he's very very dominant. His peers are talking a lot about Carl Edwards and Jimmie. They understand how focused he is. They respect that and they envy that all at the same time.
how weird of a feeling is it for a driver, to not win the last race of the season, but win the cup?
Rusty Wallace (1:42 PM)
That's not weird at all. Jimmie won seven times this year and dominated most of the time. You don't have to win the last race and the cup to celebrate. NASCAR plans those things - a celebration for the winner and the Cup winner. I guess that would be fantastic if you could win the race and the championship.
Do you think either the season is too long or the offseason too short?
Rusty Wallace (1:43 PM)
Well, I don't know if you've heard or not, but they've canceled all of the testing in Daytona for 2009, because they're trying to save teams money because of the economy. NASCAR is trying to save the teams money.
Daniel (Atlanta, GA)
Hi Rusty! What do you see in the future for teams like Penske, Ganassi, Bill Davis, or other teams that are not Roush, Hendrick, or Gibbs?
Rusty Wallace (1:44 PM)
Well, it's tough for them right now. They're just going to have to get some really good drivers and some really good sales and marketing people to get the sponsors. It's all about having good drivers and sponsors.
How will history judge JJ?
Rusty Wallace (1:45 PM)
I think when they look back and judge JJ, what he's done with a three-peat, history will judge him as one of the greats. He's a nice fellow, good for the sport, well spoken. He's all in when it comes to driving the call and winning a championship.
Kyle Jackson (Corona, CA)
Jimmie Johnson's career has been very similar to Jeff Gordon's early career. Obviously the common denominator is their crew chiefs Ray Evernham and Chad Knaus. Do you see Jimmie being just as successful is Knaus ever decides to do something else?
Rusty Wallace (1:47 PM)
I think that's a good question. There's no question that when Ray and Jeff were together, they were dominant. When Ray left, Jeff suffered for a little bit. If Chad were ever to leave Jimmie, I think they'd both suffer. I think in any relationship, when you have the momentum and your chief is doing great and you're driving well and you break that up, it's not going to get better. There's a lot of opportunities that pop up because of the success you have on the track. Jeff dug down deep, he probably said he enjoyed the time he and Ray had together.
Rusty Wallace (1:47 PM)
I've experienced the same thing with the crew chiefs I've had. When you lose that guy, it takes a while to get back into rhythm.
Hey Rusty, What are your personal feelings about JPM and do you think the switch to Chevy will help himout next year? How do you think he will do next year now that he has two full years in the cup?
Rusty Wallace (1:49 PM)
I think that's going to be a good thing for him. These new cars taht everyone is running are much better. Hooking up with the Earnhardt team, I think the engines will be strong. Interviewing Juan, he's excited about it. If it's in the driver's head and he's excited, it probably will be.
Dan (Carrollton, GA)
If you could change one or two things in the Sprint Cup series, what would you change? And what is your prediction not to win, but to be strong at Daytona in 2009?
Rusty Wallace (1:50 PM)
Well, it I could change one or two things, my wish list would be to have less races. Mechanically, for the Cup cars, I wish they could get the cars easier to drive. I would remove the bump stops on the front of the car. Try to figure a way to be a little more fan friendly. A lot of the fans I've talked to say it's not like it used to be. Other than that, I like the sport the way it is. It's a lot of time and hours away from home. We could be pushing the supply and demand a little bit - too much supply and not enough demand.
Bill Moorefield, WV
How come they don't draw numbers for starting spots when qualifying is rained out during the chase..doesn't seem fair because whoever starts first usually leads a lap and gets easy bonus points...guy 1 has a better chance than 12 does..I think the should draw for guys in the chase if this happens.
Rusty Wallace (1:52 PM)
Yeah, on the other hand, it's not fair to do that to draw numbers. Your team has worked hard to get yourself in that position to be the best in the points standings. If you've worked hard and you're top of the points, you want to start first. I do like that they award the fellas and the team that has worked the hardest. Good question, because a lot of people have asked me that.
Edwin (Puerto Rico, PR)
how much adrenaline you feels when you drive?
Rusty Wallace (1:53 PM)
When you're sitting on the pit lane and you fire up the motor to pull off pit road to start the race, there's a lot of adrenaline. You've talked to your crew chief and your people and you came up with a good set up for the car, but there's a lot of uncertainty. You'll get yourself a good idea of where you're at about 20 laps into the race. One of the most nervewracking times is thinking about the race the night before.
Can JJ win 7 titles and if not will he win more titles then gordon when it is all said and done.
Rusty Wallace (1:55 PM)
Well, I think that I'm not going to say that he'll have more than Jeff Gordon, but he's won three in a row. I can't remember the year, but he also finished 8 points out one year. So I don't know if he can get to 7, but I have no reason to think that he can't do that.
Rusty Wallace (1:57 PM)
I'd just like to tell the fans that's it's been a great 2008. We witnessed history with Jimmie winning his third in a row and Carl Edwards dominating as well as Busch. 2009 will probably be a trying time because of the economy. In talking with Jimmie Johnson, he thinks he can win four in a row. I want to thank all the fans for their support and supporting the ESPN team. I look forward to next season.
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