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RUSTY WALLACE
"LAST CALL" IN 2005; FIRST CALL FOR ESPN/ABC IN 2006


Renowned NASCAR driver Rusty Wallace, who climbed out of his No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge at the end of his "Rusty's Last Call" 2005 Nextel Cup Series season, will become lead auto racing analyst for ESPN and ABC Sports. His first assignment will be on-site at the Daytona 500 for ESPN's SportsCenter coverage with host Chris Fowler.

Wallace, the 1989 NASCAR champion, will be the ESPN and ABC Sports lead NASCAR Nextel Cup and Busch Series analyst when the networks return to televising NASCAR in 2007. He will first appear in the booth for the 2006 IRL season, and this year's Indianapolis 500.

Additionally, Wallace, whose 25-year career included 55 Cup wins, will serve as studio analyst for SportsCenter , and ESPN2's upcoming daily motor sports series.

"We're extremely proud that our first new on-air hire, following the announcement that NASCAR is returning to ABC Sports and ESPN, is that of the legendary Rusty Wallace," said Norby Williamson, ESPN's e xecutive vice president, studio and remote production . "Rusty earned the respect and admiration of fellow drivers and fans with his engaging personality and unquestioned racing ability, attributes that will continue to entertain race fans."

Wallace, whose 706th career start ended his 2005 season-long "Last Call" tour in the No. 2 Dodge "Miller Lite" car, fell just 28 laps short of leading 20,000 in his career. The 1984 Rookie-of-the-Year ended his 22nd consecutive full NEXTEL/Winston Cup season eighth in the standings, the 17th time he finished in the top 10.

"I feel like broadcasting is my calling, and I knew when I retired this is what I wanted to do, so I'm excited to work with ABC and ESPN," Wallace said. "I've had a few broadcasting gigs, and have really enjoyed them. I feel like I am well educated on the cars, NASCAR, the whole industry, and will be a whole new opportunity to work with other types of racing, like IRL, calling the Indy 500."

RUSTY WALLACE CAREER

Year

Races

W

T5

T10

1980

2

0

1

1

1981

4

0

0

1

1982

3

0

0

0

1984

30

0

2

4

1985

28

0

2

8

1986

29

2

4

16

1987

29

2

9

16

1988

29

6

19

23

1989

29

6

13

20

1990

29

2

9

16

1991

29

2

9

14

1992

29

1

5

12

1993

30

10

19

21

1994

31

8

17

20

1995

31

2

15

19

1996

31

5

8

18

1997

32

1

8

12

1998

33

1

15

21

1999

34

1

7

16

2000

34

4

12

20

2001

36

1

8

14

2002

36

0

7

17

2003

36

0

2

12

2004

36

1

3

11

2005

36

0

8

17

Totals

706

55

202

349


NASCAR will return to ABC Sports and ESPN in 2007 with an eight-year, content-rich agreement featuring a 17-race Nextel Cup schedule ending with coverage on ABC Sports of the 10-race "Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup." The agreement features exclusive coverage of the entire Busch series, as well as qualifying and practice sessions for both series, and a daily NASCAR news and information program.