Pocono II: Mike Wallace preview

LONG POND, Pa. (July 23, 2003) - There's no secret formula or mechanical wizardry. It just comes down to the pure basics. "It's pretty simple," offered U.S. Army Pontiac driver Mike Wallace, "you have to face it head on and get over it. You...

LONG POND, Pa. (July 23, 2003) - There's no secret formula or mechanical wizardry. It just comes down to the pure basics.

"It's pretty simple," offered U.S. Army Pontiac driver Mike Wallace, "you have to face it head on and get over it. You don't sit back and pout."

Wallace is referring to the frustrating circumstances that have plagued him at the last three NASCAR Winston Cup races when he was collected twice in multi-car accidents -- at Daytona and Chicago -- and then was turned around and stuffed into the wall at last week's New England 300 in Loudon, N.H.

Wallace and the No. 01 U.S. Army team are looking to break the jinx this weekend at the Pennsylvania 500 here at Pocono Raceway.

"For me, this is an aberration," said Wallace. "I am not the type of driver who tears up a lot of equipment. I look back at each situation and there was nothing that could be done. We were simply in the wrong place."

Wallace, who finished 31st in the first Pocono race of the season last month, will have a new in-house built car to attack the odd-shaped 2.5-mile oval.

"Everything I have been given with this team has been top notch," said the 44-year-old Wallace. "This is a very good team and everyone deserves better results. Our intention is to have those results and we won't get discouraged - we'll keep battling though this unusual adversity."

One could say that "unusual adversity" started on the first lap of the first race when Wallace took over as the substitute driver for Jerry Nadeau, who is recovering from a May 2 accident in Richmond.

It was at the 20-lap Winston Open shootout at Lowe's Motor Speedway in Charlotte where Wallace got tagged on the opening lap. Though he avoided making contact with the wall, the incident did take him out of contention.

"Was that an omen or what?" asked Wallace. "At the time, I just thought it was a bad break. The hit was unintentional and the driver who clipped me apologized after the race."

Omen or no omen, Wallace and the Army of One crew will put everything behind them as they approach the Pocono race weekend.

"We've gotten into some awkward situations the last three weeks," said Wallace. "We're just going to race the way we know how and not be overly cautious about what might happen. You can't race that way."

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Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Mike Wallace