Retirement tour for Rusty

NASCAR superstar Rusty Wallace has confirmed, as expected, that 2005 will be his last season as driver, and a year-long celebration, called 'Rusty's Last Call', will be a feature of next year's Nextel Cup

Retirement tour for Rusty

The announcement was made at a news conference in Daytona Beach, with most of the important dignitaries in attendance, including NASCAR chairman emeritus Bill France, NASCAR president Mike Helton and team owner Roger Penske.

Wallace, 48, has raced in NASCAR since 1980, winning the 1989 Cup championship and 55 races. This year, at Martinsville, he ended a three-year losing streak with a victory. Wallace also is part owner of his Cup team, Penske Racing South and has formed a Busch Series team.

The word on the street is that Rusty Wallace will take up television broadcasting when NASCAR renegotiates its network situations for 2007. Sources indicate that Wallace, 48, could have a spot in the booth for one of the big networks, although details are not yet clear.

NASCAR's current contracts with Fox (through 2008) and NBC/TNT (through 2006) are due for re-negotiation. Fox's broadcast team is headed by Mike Joy, Darrell Waltrip and Larry McReynolds. NBC's group includes Allen Bestwick, Benny Parsons and Wally Dallenbach.

Wallace, of course, knows the business and the competitors and is a talking machine, so he certainly would fit in the booth as well as former NASCAR star Waltrip has.

"Rusty is a great spokesman for our sport," said Waltrip. "He is very charismatic and has a great personality. We were once fierce competitors on the track. It wouldn't surprise me to be competitors again sometime soon."

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