Rusty Wallace to drive Penske car at NASCAR Daytona test

Jerry Markland

Rusty Wallace is not un-retiring, but he will be a participant in Thursday’s preseason test at Daytona International Speedway.

NASCAR legend Rusty Wallace isn't planning a comeback, but the 1989 Cup champion will be getting back behind the wheel Thursday at Daytona International Speedway.

Wallace, currently an analyst for ESPN, will be driving the No. 2 Ford fielded by Penske Racing, the team Wallace drove for the majority of his Hall of Fame career. He will take part in the afternoon portion of Thursday's preseason test, while the team's normal driver, Brad Keselowski, will handle the morning session and all of Friday's on-track activities.

The No. 2 car will have a special commemorative paint scheme honoring Miller Lite's 40th anniversary, and both drivers will don throwback firesuits.

"I am pretty pumped up about this," Wallace said in a statement. "This is a big deal, and I can't wait to get the No. 2 Miller Lite Ford up to speed — especially at Daytona. This will be my first time driving the new Gen-6 car, and I think it will give me a better perspective on how I cover the races for ESPN as an analyst."

Wallace retired after the 2005 season with 55 career victories, and this marks the first time he's taken laps in NASCAR's Generation-6 car, which debuted last season. His long association with Miller Lite — Wallace won 39 races in a Miller-sponsored car — prompted the idea of the 57-year-old to take his helmet out of mothballs.

"This is a terrific way to pay homage to the heritage and prestige of the No. 2 Miller Lite Ford," Keselowski said. "To have Rusty Wallace, a NASCAR champion and a NASCAR Hall of Fame inductee, assist Miller Lite in recognizing the long association they have had with Team Penske and NASCAR is something special. I feel privileged to be a part of it."

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