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Kenny Wallace earns first top-10 with RAB Racing at Phoenix

NNSracing.com

 

Kenny Wallace and RAB Racing earned their first top-10 finish of the 2011 NASCAR Nationwide Series season last weekend in the Bashas' Supermarkets 200 at Phoenix International Raceway.

Wallace, who drove the No. 09 Family Farmers Toyota Camry to a 10th-place finish in Saturday's event, tied his best career-finish at the 1-mile track and improved to ninth place in the NNS driver points standings.

After posting speeds 18th and 14th fastest in the two scheduled practice sessions on Friday, Wallace worked with crew chief Scott Zipadelli and the RAB Racing team to make adjustments on the No. 09 Family Farmers Toyota Camry before Saturday's qualifying.

On Saturday morning, Wallace put down a qualifying lap quick enough to earn the 18th starting position for the afternoon event.

When the green flag waved to begin the second NNS race of the season, Wallace wasted no time moving the No. 09 Family Farmers Toyota Camry in to the top-15. By lap 70, Wallace had worked his way to 13th, and would further improve his position to 11th midway through the race.

On lap 120, Wallace broke in to the top 10 for the first time, eventually running as high as eighth in a race that saw only three cautions and no lead changes. When the checkered flag flew on lap 200, Wallace had scored his first 10th-place finish for RAB Racing and primary sponsor Family Farmers.

"It was a really good race for our new Toyota Camry team," Wallace said after the race. "We're thrilled to death with 10th. Maybe we could have finished a little bit better. We had a little hiccup on the last pit stop, looks like we should have finished eighth, but we got 10th and we're all happy with that. The reason I'm happy with it is because we're brand new.

"We're a brand new Toyota team. We were running eighth or ninth at Daytona, got wrecked. It seems to me like we're a solid top-10 team and just have to keep rolling and put ourselves in position to win a race this year."

Next up, Wallace returns to Las Vegas Motor Speedway for the Sam's Town 300 where the No. 09 Toyota Camry will have a new look with primary race sponsor, Federated Auto Parts. Live coverage of the NASCAR Nationwide Series event from Las Vegas begins on ABC at 3 p.m. Eastern.