Steve Wallace: Unsafe At Any Speed

Gary BuchananCorrespondent IMay 31, 2009

DARLINGTON, SC - MAY 08:  Steve Wallace, driver of the #66 US fidelis Chevrolet, stands on the grid prior to the NASCAR Nationwide Series Diamond Hill Plywood 200 on May 8, 2009 at Darlington Raceway in Darlington, South Carolina.  (Photo by Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR)

A number of years ago, Ralph Nader wrote of the dangers of the auto industry and penned his book, “UNSAFE AT ANY SPEED.”

After seeing the Nationwide race this weekend at Dover, perhaps Mr. Nader foresaw the driving habits of one Steve Wallace, who this weekend proved that being around Mr. Wallace was truly unsafe at any speed or at any point.

I profess that I have a definite fondness for some of the Wallaces, while I dislike some of the others. Kenny Wallace, his antics, his humor, and over the top energy are simply hard to resist. 

I like Mike Wallace who has been bringing his daughter, Chrisy up in the lower levels of the sport, and I find my self pulling for any of these Wallace brothers or Chrisy in a race.

But I do not have the same feeling for their brother Rusty Wallace, who only smiles and is polite when a TV camera is on him and his attitude makes a major change to the jerk side when the cameras are turned off. 

Steve Wallace has inherited or learned how to be arrogant like his father, but unfortunately he has not learned or inherited the driving abilities of his father, nor those of either his uncles or cousin. 

This Saturday at the Monster Mile’s Nationwide race, Steve Wallace proved that he is arrogant without the talent it takes to be a race car driver.  

There were by my count seven cautions in the race. In all but one caution, Steve Wallace and the no. 66 car either hit the car that crashed, or had brushed them a lap or two before their tires gave out and caused the caution.

We have heard that Rusty plans to move young Steve to the Cup level of the sport in 2010. This is akin to letting a sixth-grader operate a nuclear reactor. 

Steve Wallace is simply not ready to move to Cup. He has not won a single race in the Nationwide Series. 

He has managed to finish in the top 10 a few times, but top 10 is not good enough to leap ahead in the sport. He needs to finish in the top three at least and not wreck half of the field before he is allowed near the big show. 

People who have been tops in their field with numerous wins have a hard time converting in Cup. Steve Wallace is clearly NOT in the top of his field and putting him in Cup is just wrong. 

In fact having him in the Nationwide Series seems to be almost as wrong as the only car Steven forgot to wreck on Saturday was the Pace Car. 

I am sure that Steve is a very nice kid, but I would not let him anywhere near anything with a gas pedal and a steering wheel. Any of of his pit crew could have been driving the No. 66 car as well and probably better than Wallace did this weekend. 

Why Steve was not flagged for rough driving is a question that is probably best answered by the fact he is Rusty Wallace’s kid. If he were anyone else, after wrecking Ryan Newman, he would have been set down a lap at least. 

Where is Ralph Nader when we need him? 

Unsafe at any speed. I don’t think it was the Pinto, I think it is Steve Wallace.