[media-credit name=”texasmotorspeedway.com” align=”alignright” width=”199″][/media-credit]FT. WORTH, Tex. (April 13, 2012) – Mike Wallace and the No. 01 G&K Services Chevrolet team of JD Motorsports had a tough route to their finish at Texas Motor Speedway on Friday night.
But, their tenacity on pit road and behind the wheel won out over the trying 1.5-mile oval of TMS.
After the first practice session on Thursday evening, Wallace and team were shown 27th on the speed chart. The final practice took place on Friday morning as the JD Motorsports team went to work and improved to 19th on the chart.
Crew Chief Newt Moore, Wallace and team put together a set-up for their G&K Services Chevrolet that placed them 24th on the starting grid. Under cloudy skies and a warm breeze, Wallace started the racing running in the mid 20s on the scoring pylon.
By lap 35, Wallace radioed in the front end of the car was sliding in the turns of the high-banked oval. When the first caution waved on lap 46, the St Louis native was running in 23rd place.
After hitting pit road for tires, fuel, air pressure and chassis adjustments the red No. 01 Chevrolet restarted in 21st looking to break into the top-20 positions. However, the early lack of cautions had left Wallace and team down one lap to the leaders.
The goals were now to get the handing of the car better, and get back on the lead lap via the Lucky Dog. Although they did crack the top-20 by lap 75, they were still down a lap but this time they were in the Lucky Dog position for the next caution.
That caution came on lap 90 for Wallace. However, he wasn’t the Lucky Dog and had to pit the second time around for fuel, tires, air pressure and chassis adjustments. Still trying to get a handle on the sliding nose in the turns, the team was now laying down their fastest lap times of the race.
Green flag pit stops started on lap 146 and Moore called Wallace to pit road on lap 153 for the same things they administered to the car before. A caution for, of all things, lights out along the inside wall in Turn 3, brought the field together and was eventually turned into a red flag so track crews could make repairs.
Once the race restarted, Wallace was now back in the top-20. In the waning laps, another caution for oil on the track left the No. 01 Chevrolet team out of contention for the Lucky Dog, but didn’t deter their determination.
When the checkers finally waved, Wallace and the G&K Services team were in 19th place. Tenacity won out at Texas rewarding the team with another top-20 finish. Wallace moved up two positions to 13th in driver points trailing 11th by four markers.
This weekend, the NNS heads to Richmond International Raceway for another Friday night event.
Mike Wallace Quotes: “That was a pretty interesting night there at end with the lights out us going three-wide there on the restarts. We started out with the car being loose, and then the nose started to slide when we entered the turns.
“We got that fixed a little then went back to being pretty good. Our lap times picked up, then the nose started to slide again. This track has changed through the years and everyone was talking about how slippery it was through the turns.
“I tried like crazy to get back on the lead lap, but the breaks just didn’t fall our way the way we needed. It’s too bad, because this car was pretty good and we were fast there for awhile. We moved up a few spots in the driver standings, so that’s good to hear.
“We race again on Friday night next week in Richmond, so that will be good for us and the fans.”