GAFFNEY, S.C. (April 28, 2012) – Mike Wallace and the No. 01 Chevrolet team of JD Motorsports didn’t get the desired results they were working towards at Richmond International Raceway on Friday night.
After the lone practice session earlier in the day for their NASCAR Nationwide Series race, the Newt Moore-led team was listed 20th on the speed chart. They backed that up by qualifying 26th for the 250-lap race later in the day placing them outside Row 13. Starting inside was X Games All Star athlete Travis Pastrana; making his NASCAR Nationwide Series debut.
When the initial green flag fell over the .75-mile oval at dusk, Wallace maintained position until the first, of only three, caution waved. By lap 62, Wallace had raced his way into the top-20 and was 22nd when the caution waved on lap 68.
Pitting for tires and fresh fuel allowed Moore to make some much-needed adjustments to their No. 01 Chevrolet. Wallace said the car responded well, at first, but not so much as the laps ticked down.
By the 100-lap mark, Wallace and team started to struggle with slippery conditions on the race track. Once the new tires wore off, the St. Louis native radioed into his crew that his Chevrolet’s handling was quickly eroding.
From there, it was a battle to stay on the lead lap and maintain position. With 50 laps left, Wallace was doing all he could to keep their car in one piece and not spin or lose control with the sliding front end as he entered the turns.
During the race, teams started making green flag pit stops. The first one down pit road for service was the No. 01 Chevrolet for tires and adjustments.
In the waning laps, Wallace raced as hard as his car would allow and took the checkered flag in 24th place. The finish the JD Motorsports achieved keeps them 13th place in Driver’s Points, trailing 12th by just seven markers.
This weekend, the NNS heads to Talladega Superspeedway for a Saturday afternoon race on the 2.66-mile track. Joining in the fun will be Restaurant.com; the team’s new marketing partner on the No. 01 Chevrolet.
Mike Wallace Quotes: “This was not the type of finish we wanted on this team tonight. Track conditions just didn’t respond to our Chevrolet the way we thought it would during the race.
“Once the new rubber wore off our tires, the nose would just slide all over through the turns. It became tougher and tougher to hang on at times. But, we finished the race, didn’t get caught up in anyone’s mess and brought our car home in piece.
“We’ll go to Talladega next weekend and hope to finish what we started there last year.”