NASCAR champ Rusty Wallace getting ready for Ferrari World Final

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Jeff Gordon isn’t the only NASCAR star coming out of retirement to race at Daytona. So is Rusty Wallace.

The 1989 Cup champion will end a decade-long drought after running his final Cup race in 2005, as part of this weekend’s Ferrari World Final at the Daytona International Speedway road course.

Wallace, now 60, is getting stoked for the opportunity.

“I’m really excited to be a part of the first Ferrari Finali Mondiali in North America,” Wallace said, via Ferrari North America. “I’ve always been a big Ferrari fan and Daytona is a special place for everyone in NASCAR, so when Daytona and Ferrari asked me to participate, I couldn’t resist.

“I haven’t driven a car in race conditions for a few years, but I tested with Risi Competizione last week at Circuit of the Americas and felt really comfortable.  The Ferrari 458 Challenge really impressed me a lot.  It was not only fast, but also very stable and a lot of fun to drive.

“I still do a lot of broadcasting work with NASCAR, but I also really enjoy leaving that world, meeting new people and doing something different like Ferrari Challenge.  It’s never easy to get into a new type of race car and compete with guys that race them a lot, but I’m excited about the challenge.  Risi Competizione is a great team and think we can put together some strong runs this week.

“Aside from the actual racing though, for a “car guy” and a racer like me, there’s so much incredible stuff to see and do at Finali Mondiali.  It’ll be the first time that the public can see a F1 car run at Daytona—which is something really special—and it’ll be great to see the F333SP back on track at Daytona too.  If that’s not enough, there’s also the new FXX K with over 1,000 HP and every kind of Ferrari you can imagine.  I can’t wait to check it all out.”

Travis Pastrana leads flag-to-flag in Nitro Rallycross as the series returns to America

Pastrana Nitro Rallycross
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Travis Pastrana waited until the final trip around ERX Motor Park to take his Joker Lap – a longer way around the course that all drivers must do at least once in a race – and came out cleanly to win his first Nitro Rallycross race of 2022. With this win, Pastrana is the third driver to visit Victory Lane in the first three rounds of the 2022-23 season.

“This is the closest to a motocross track,” Pastrana told Katie Osborne on Peacock. “Thank you so much for a beautiful facility. It’s been a rough start to the season and I’m so thankful to be back out here. We had a good run in the side-by-side and now for this. This is much needed.”

Another thing needed was the sense of improvement. And Pastrana earned that affirmation each time he completed a lap around the course.

“I get my lap times read out and they said ‘fastest time of the week,’ ‘fastest time of the week’ (each time around) ” Pastrana said. “This is really special. We’re a long way behind in the championship, but welcome to America.”

In a pre-race press conference, Pastrana said that as Nitro Rallycross heads back to America, it was time for an American to win and he made good on his promise. Pastrana took the early lead over Robin Larsson and let the back of his Subaru hang out, taking risks he might not otherwise take if not for his need to win.

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Larsson’s second-place finish completed a perfect sweep of the podium in three rounds. In fact, he has not yet finished worse than second after winning the opening round at Lydden Hill in the United Kingdom and finishing second at Strangnas in Sweeden.

Fraser McConnel rounded out the podium for his best result of the season. He finished fourth in each of the first two rounds.

Last year, Pastrana finished second in this race to Scott Speed before narrowly edging his teammate for the championship.

Andreas Bakkerud crashed in prelims, but rebounded to finish just off the block in fourth. Bakkerud won the second round ahead of his teammate Larsson.

Oliver Bennett completed the top five.

Minneapolis is the first of three rounds scheduled in the United States. Next on the schedule is Glen Helen, Calif. on Octo 30 and then Phoenix at Wild Horse Pass on November 12th. Nitro Rallycross will then head to Saudi Arabia in December to continue their 2022-23 season.