No. 01 G&K Services Chevrolet – Mike Wallace
GAFFNEY, S.C. (May 5, 2013) – Mike Wallace and the No. 01 G&K Services team was rewarded with their first top-10 finish of the 2013 season at Talladega. The race included a dramatic last lap crash that Wallace drove through en-route to a 7th place finish.
The weekend began with two practices sessions on Thursday, in which the team chose to work on single car runs leaving them towards the bottom of the board. The team saw the same result in qualifying, which fit with their race strategy of riding at the beginning of the race. By lap 5, the No. 01 was in 33rd spot, hanging with the lead draft. The race strategy was created to allow the team to be around at the finish, and to avoid the ‘big one’.
After a long pit stop under caution where the crew worked on aerodynamics, the No. 01 G&K Services Chevy went one lap down. However the team then benefited from the ‘Lucky Dog’, and by lap 41 Wallace began working with his teammate, Landon Cassill in the No. 4 Flex Seal Chevy. The duo immediately went to the front, running 11th and 12th on lap 80.
While riding around, another large wreck occurred eliminating many cars from contention. In the ruckus, the Wallace machine experienced slight damage to the right rear quarter-panel, but the team continued running with the leaders. After another caution, NASCAR officials shortened the race to 107 laps, leaving the field with 2 more laps to sort out their positions on track.
The tandem draft of Wallace and Cassill went high and low to pass cars, and gained 15 car lengths on the back stretch to be racing with the leaders. As the field exited turn 4, the veteran Wallace made his move, leaving the duo running 6th and 7th, before the cars in front wrecked. The No. 01 team was collected, but Wallace was able to cross the line 7th.
The finish moved the No. 01 team up in owner’s points to 27th, and Wallace up to 19th in driver’s points.
Mike Wallace Quotes: “Wow, what a race. We were down a bit on horsepower, but as soon as I hooked up with Landon in the No. 4 we were able to run up to the front. These cars have so much speed at this track, and the draft is everything!
The beginning of the race was tough, as we hung in the pack, but once I got in tandem, we had cars capable of winning the race. At the end we made a nice run and were running the leaders down, but they started wrecked and I had to drive through them to finish. I am really happy with this top-10 finish, and really want to thank the team for all the hard work they put into these speedway cars.”