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Wallace wants to exit with win at Bristol

BRISTOL, Tenn. -- Many of Rusty Wallace's finest moments came on the high banks of Bristol Motor Speedway.

His first victory came on the tough Tennessee track, the same place he later notched his 50th career win. Set to retire at the end of the season, Wallace is looking to make one more memory.

Wallace, who leads all active drivers with nine career Bristol victories, is looking to score his 10th win tonight in the Sharpie 500 -- his final race at his favorite track. He qualified 20th yesterday, when Matt Kenseth won the pole.

''I'm going into this baby with all the intentions that I can win the race," Wallace said. ''This race is definitely one of the races I have targeted for victory. I think I can win it. I feel confident about winning it."

No driver can climb into his car at Bristol with the same level of confidence Wallace has. He was comfortable the first time he raced around the 0.533-mile bullring, a track similar to the venues he ran across the Midwest during the early years of his career.

In the 43 times he's come to Bristol, Wallace has the nine wins, seven second-place finishes, and 21 top-fives. He's led 3,734 laps -- third-best in track history behind Cale Yarborough and the late Dale Earnhardt.

Wallace swept the spring and fall races here in 2000, the most recent of his Bristol wins. But he's come close twice since.

He was leading with two laps to go in 2002 when Jeff Gordon bumped him out of the way to steal the victory, and Wallace finished second here in 2004 to winner Kurt Busch.

Wallace had a strong car here in April, leading a race-high 157 laps before a flat tire relegated him to a 13th-place finish.

''We're looking at it like we have some unfinished business to take care of this weekend," said Wallace, back to race in the same Dodge. ''The fact is that we had a car that should have won the spring race at Bristol."

Gordon is racing hard to qualify for the 10-race title chase. Wallace is almost assured of a spot because he's currently fourth in the standings.

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