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Wallace's retirement road leads him to ESPN

CONCORD, N.C. -- Retirement didn't last very long for Rusty
Wallace, who only needed about two months to land a job in a new
profession.

Wallace became the first on-air hire by ESPN and ABC Sports when
he was named lead auto racing analyst on Wednesday. His first
assignment will be covering next month's Daytona 500 for ESPN's
SportsCenter.

"I feel like broadcasting is my calling,'' Wallace said. "I
knew when I retired this is what I wanted to do. I feel like I am
well educated on the cars, NASCAR, the whole industry.''

ESPN and ABC will broadcast 17 Nextel Cup races beginning in
2007, the first year of an eight-year contract the networks signed
with NASCAR. In preparation for his move into the broadcasting
booth, Wallace will spend this upcoming season analyzing Indy
Racing League events, including this year's Indianapolis 500.

Wallace, the 1989 Cup champion, ended his 22-year career last
November.

"Rusty earned the respect and admiration of fellow drivers and
fans with his engaging personality and unquestioned racing ability
-- attributes that will continue to entertain race fans,'' said
Norby Williamson, ESPN's executive vice president.