REDMOND, Wash., March 27, 2006 – While he made his career driving around a track at speeds of more than 180 miles per hour (290 km), Rusty Wallace – NASCAR (National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing, the largest sanctioning body of motorsports in the U.S.) veteran and Nextel Cup Champion – loves spending down time on the open road with his family. This spring, Microsoft Streets & Trips 2006 with GPS Locator is teaming up with Wallace to share his tips and tricks of the road.
Rusty Wallace made his racing debut in 1973. He recorded more than 200 feature-race wins from 1974 to 1978 before joining the United States Auto Club stock car circuit in 1979, where he was rookie of the year. Wallace gained national attention in 1989, capturing the checkered flag in The Winston All-Star race and added six more wins and 20 top-10 finishes in 29 events. He won the 1989 NASCAR championship, beating Dale Earnhardt by just 12 points. Until 2002, he held a string of 16 years in a row with a victory, the best record of all active drivers. At the end of the 2005 season, Wallace retired from the NASCAR circuit and recently signed on with ESPN/ABC to be a NASCAR analyst.
Wallace spoke with PressPass about his joint venture with Microsoft and provides tips for travelers getting ready to hit the road this spring and summer. From preparing ahead with a trip-planning tool – like Streets & Trips 2006 with GPS Locator – to taking time to enjoy side roads along the way, travelers can implement Wallace’s tips to ensure that everyone in the car enjoys the ride and travels with complete confidence.
PressPass: Why did you decide to team up with Microsoft on this campaign?
Rusty Wallace: It’s exciting to work with a company that has approached the road-trip experience the same way I look at racing – with excitement and passion. I have spent 33 years racing professionally and have enjoyed every minute behind the wheel. Microsoft believes this experience should be shared by everyone on the road, and has developed Microsoft Streets & Trips 2006 with GPS Locator to make that possible. Microsoft understands that it’s not where you go, but how you get there; with voice-prompted directions, GPS technology and comprehensive planning tools, Microsoft Streets & Trips 2006 with GPS Locator makes the road ahead a lot less bumpy.
PressPass: What are your tips for people who are planning to hit the road this spring and summer?
Wallace: Making sure your vehicle is in tip-top condition is one of the most important things you can do before planning to hit the road. I recommend having a mechanic perform a once-over on your vehicle before the trip. But don’t forget to pack an emergency road kit just in case. For any family road trip, plan ahead, respect the rules of the road, take plenty of breaks and last of all, take time to stop and enjoy the scenery. By planning a safe and fun family road trip, families can create memories for years to come.
When planning to hit the road this spring and summer there is no better way to start then by planning ahead. To do this, I recommend using a trip-planning tool such as Microsoft Streets & Trips 2006 with GPS Locator. Microsoft has put everything into this software that you need to plan the perfect road trip with your family so that everyone will enjoy the trip and know exactly what to expect along the way.
PressPass: Road trips can be stressful, especially when you add kids to the mix. What are your tips for families to help them hit the road and have a good time?
Wallace: The first order of business is keeping the kids entertained. Fortunately for many Americans, we’re not riding in our Dad’s two-toned sedan anymore. Many new family cars are equipped with DVD players, to keep the fighting in the backseat to a minimum. However, I find playing games or choosing one of Streets & Trips 1.8 million points of interest for “pit stops” now and then can also make road trips even more pleasurable. Just make sure to plan the trip as a family. A weekend fishing trip may not always be the ideal getaway for my wife and daughter, but when you plan as a team you can keep everyone happy.
PressPass: What does the road ahead look like for you?
Wallace: I just retired from the NASCAR circuit at the end of the 2005 season. Now I’m looking forward to working with ESPN/ABC as a NASCAR analyst. I love talking about the sport and I really enjoy educating people. I also look forward to spending quality time with my family and friends, taking advantage of a slower pace of life and hitting the road for some family vacations of course!