TMS pit stops: Rusty Wallace slows down, at least when he’s talking

Posted Saturday, Nov. 02, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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NASCAR Hall of Famer and ESPN analyst Rusty Wallace loves to talk racing on the TV.

Sometimes a little too much.

“When I first came online I was very excited, I had a lot to tell people, and I still do,” Wallace said last week. “My biggest challenge was talking too fast.

“I’d get home and ask my wife how she liked the broadcast. ‘Sometimes you talk so fast I can’t understand what you’re saying.’ I should have listened to her more.”

Wallace, the 1989 NASCAR Winston Cup series champion, has settled into the booth these days. He answered a few quick questions this week for us.

Matt Kenseth appears to be a new guy driving with Joe Gibbs racing. What’s up with that?

This new Gen-6 car is really something. It’s a good car. And driving for Joe Gibbs… this is a new guy. I had no idea he’d be that good at Martinsville. Now they’re going into a racetrack that Matt is really good at. He’s good at those mile-and-a-halfs. And Johnson is too. I think they’re both gonna flat fly around there.

What makes Jimmie Johnson so good so consistently?

First, it looks like he has his life in order off the racetrack. But he’s so focused when he’s behind the wheel; he’s physically fit, and above all, he has the same car owner, the same crew chief, and he’s got the same group of guys.

Who do you like?

I think if one stumbles it will be with a mistake. Speeding on pit road, blowing an engine, a pit mistake like taking four tires on instead of two.… These guys are so evenly matched it’s like watching a baseball game with the Cardinals and Boston. It’s a four-man race right now. After Texas, it’ll be a two-man race. Anything can happen.

Biffle’s paint party

Greg Biffle will look different in Sunday’s AAA Texas 500 and it won’t be because he’s kinder and gentler than a week ago. (Though, he might be.)

Biffle’s No. 16 Ford Fusion will feature a paint scheme promoting the “Hire our Heroes” campaign.

Car designer Chip Foose designed the look.

Hire our Heroes raises money to offset the cost of tuition, books, tools and equipment for returning veterans and their families who are seeking to become more employable after leaving the service.

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