Rusty Wallace on Tony Stewart, Kyle Busch’s streak and the Confederate flag


Rusty Wallace saw a lot during his 22 full-time seasons in the Sprint Cup Series and continues to do so as an analyst for the Motor Racing Network and employee of the International Speedway Corporation.

The 1989 Sprint Cup Champion was interviewed by the Democrat and Chronicle in Rochester, N.Y. while Wallace was in town to promote NASCAR’s weekend at Watkins Glen International on Aug. 6-9.

Wallace was asked about multiple topics including Kyle Busch and his three-race win streak. Wallace won three straight in 1994 at Richmond International Raceway, Dover International Speedway and Michigan International Speedway.

I just got in this darn zone, man. But for Kyle Busch, it’s a little bit different. He has got pressure on him. We all know the numbers. You got to be in the top 16 in the points (standings) to make the Chase for the championship or you got to win, and if you win, the last criteria is that you at least got to be in the top 30 in points.

So he knows this, and everybody says you’re not going to make it ever. So then he wins, and it’s ‘Hey, maybe.’ Now he’s just driving with a vengeance to make it into the top 30. Hey, when the human body gets down on their luck man, sometimes you can dig down and find a little extra speed.’

The 55-time Sprint Cup winner also was asked about Tony Stewart and a win drought that stretches back to June 2, 2013 race at Dover International Speedway. Stewart missed the final 15 races of the ’13 season after breaking his right leg in a sprint-car crash.

This is just Rusty speaking, and if Tony heard me saying this he’d say, ‘He’s full of it.’ I know personally, there’s a lot of maneuvering inside the car. There’s a lot of what I call body English, I used to use on road courses, the short tracks and it gave me a lot of damn victories.

I really think that Tony’s leg injury really screwed up his dancing inside the car (to work pedals), the way he works his momentum inside the car as a driver. I see Tony spinning out right now and doing some things that Tony never did.

One of the biggest stories in NASCAR this year has been the sport distancing itself further from the Confederate flag by asking fans not to bring it to tracks. Wallace disagrees with the move.

I don’t think they needed to do what they did. I respect what they did, it was a very, very horrible thing that happened down there. (The deadly shooting at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, S.C.), was terrible. I was hoping that I never get that question because I don’t know if I ever answer it right.

I just know what I personally think, and I personally think these race fans that had (Confederate flags), they don’t come to the race track, ‘I’m a racist, I hate this, I’m going to carry this flag.’ They don’t even think of that at all.