In these tough economic times, race teams seem to be hit harder than ever. That’s the case for Rusty Wallace Racing who announced on Friday that they will take a “temporary hiatus” from competing in the NASCAR Nationwide Series. RWR had fielded a two-car operation over the past several seasons with numerous drivers behind the wheel.
While RWR had funding in place, it was not enough for them to compete at the level desired for the 2012 season. “A lot of teams would have run with the funding we have,” said team owner Rusty Wallace in a press release. ” But we want to compete and improve.”
The news means that drivers Michael Annett and Steven Wallace are now out of rides for the 2012 season, and now have been given permission to seek employment to continue their racing ventures. RWR has released Annett from his contract, and is now able to take his family’s sponsor (Pilot Flying J) to another race team, while they will help Wallace (Rusty’s son) find a ride for the upcoming season.
“This was a tough decision to make, but it was the prudent one from a number of perspectives,” Rusty Wallace said in the press release. “While we had several great partners such as Pilot Flying J on board for 2012, we just didn’t feel like we had enough sponsorship in place to accomplish all of our goals.”
A RWR business staff will remain working in order to hopefully obtain sponsorship in the future, while the race shop will not be in operation. Leaving many men and women seeking employment for the upcoming race season.
“I promised myself and my family a long time ago that if the team wasn’t funded to a level where which we weren’t comfortable, we just wouldn’t run it,” said Wallace. “I’ve worked to hard to put part of my life savings into a race team.”
As many “top level” teams continue to search for sponsorship, the move for RWR is seen more as a “time to reorganize” more less than shutting down the operation all together.
“One of the hardest parts of this decision was knowing the impact it would have on the employees and their families,” Wallace continued. “We wish all of our employees the very best of luck in the future.”