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Rusty Wallace honored by hometown Hall

Retired NASCAR driver and 1989 Winston Cup champion, Rusty Wallace, will be honored by his hometown of St. Louis on Wednesday when he’ll be inducted into the city’s Sports Hall of Fame. Wallace is already a member of the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame and has been named a “Missouri Sports Legend.”

Wallace’s Cup career, which spans from 1980 to 2005 produced 55 race wins in 706 starts. While first appearing on the circuit in 1980, his first full-time season at NASCAR’s Cup level was 1984. He was that season’s Rookie of the Year.

In the early years of his Cup career, Wallace drove for car owner Cliff Stewart. He then moved to Blue Max Racing in 1986. While with that organization, he claimed a championship in 1989. Wallace began driving a Miller-sponsored car in 1990, while still with the Blue Max organization.

Wallace and Miller made the move to Penske Racing in 1991, Wallace’s racing home for the remainder of his driving career. While Wallace’s one Cup title came in a No. 27 car owned by Blue Max Racing, the No. 2 Miller Lite car of Penske Racing is the car most associated with Wallace.

Since retiring at the end of the 2005 race season, Wallace has worked as a motorsports broadcaster for ABC and ESPN. He also field two full-time entries in the NASCAR Nationwide Series as a car owner.

Wallace is among 16 sports figured to be inducted into the St. Louis Hall of Fame in 2011. Other induced this year include Torry Hold and Issac Bruce, both of the St. Louis Rams, coaching legends Lenny Wilkens and Scotty Bowman and tennis legen Arthur Ashe.

Sports icons already in the St. Louis Hall of Fame include Stan Musial, Bob Gibson, Yogi Berra and Ozzie Smith.

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