NASCAR & Auto Racing

Rudd to miss first race of career with injury; team goes with Kenny Wallace

For the past several weeks, other drivers’ pains have been Kenny Wallace’s gain.

When Kyle Petty broke his wrist at Watkins Glen, Wallace stepped in and took over the No. 45 Dodge for the Nextel Cup race at Bristol. Now, with Ricky Rudd recovering from a separated shoulder suffered in a crash Sunday night at California, Wallace is stepping in to drive the No. 88 Ford for Robert Yates Racing.

It was Rudd's 900th start.

Wallace certainly isn’t happy to see anybody injured and unable to race, but he’s out of a ride right now. So he’s ready to do what he can to help others and help himself, too.

“It’s a strange opportunity, but nonetheless it’s all business right now,” Wallace said.

“I’m fighting to save my career and try to get a ride, so this is a great opportunity for me. ...Every week you’re out there to prove your self-worth. I’m dead focused because I’m fighting to have a ride next year.”