Just when you'd thought the Silly Season rumor mill had pretty much dried up comes the nugget that Rusty Wallace is considering a return to the track with DEI.
The rumor seems to have merit as none other than Wallace's own brother Kenny is reporting the news.
According to the article on SPEEDtv.com, Kenny wrote, "... where there's smoke, there's fire. And he is definitely considering stepping back into a race car."
However, in a press release, Rusty stated: "I love Kenny to death; he's been trying to get me back in a car ever since I retired after 2005. While any rumors like this are certainly flattering, they're untrue. I have a long-term commitment to ABC and ESPN and I really love what I'm doing right now."
DEI could certainly use a shot in the arm as it's reportedly having trouble luring new sponsors. Martin Truex Jr. and Bass Pro Shops will be back in 2009, but the rest of the teams is a mess.
Paul Menard is leaving and taking his father's hardware chain sponsorship with him. Army appears to be on its way to Ryan Newman's new ride at Stewart Haas, leaving Aric Almirola in search of a new sponsor for 2009. And I don't believe advertisers are knocking down doors to adorn Regan Smith's car.
Certainly sponsors would be drawn to Wallace for his name and past success.
There are negatives, of course. Those being age (52) and lack of experience in the new car. It's a vastly different beast from the one Wallace last drove in 2005.
Although Rusty has now come out denying the rumor, I still think there may be something to it. Perhaps it's something Rusty just didn't want to get out yet.
I, for one, would love to see Wallace back on the track (and out of the TV booth, where, to be honest, he doesn't add a whole lot). He was still on top of his game when he stepped away. I don't see why he couldn't have success similar to what Mark Martin has experienced in the DEI equipment.