Mike Wallace notches another top-20 finish in Chicagoland race
GAFFNEY, S.C. (September 18, 2011) – Mike Wallace and the No. 01 G&K Services Chevrolet team of JD Motorsports had a consistent weekend of racing at Chicagoland Speedway en route to a 20th place finish in Saturday’s NASCAR Nationwide Series race.For the two practice sessions on Friday, Wallace was 23rd on the speed chart in the first one and 26thin the second. When qualifying took place on Saturday morning, the St. Louis native was 21st fastest lining him up inside the 11th row in the 43-car field.
Once the race started, the No. 01 Chevrolet was running well enough that Wallace was able to gain positions on his fellow competitors and move up the scoring chart. The team elected to stay out on the second caution instead of hitting pit road right away and led one circuit around the 1.5-mile oval to gain a much-needed bonus point.
At this point, Wallace had radioed into his crew that their Chevrolet was a tick tight coursing through the turns. When he did hit pit road, the JD Motorsports team made some adjustments to get the car better. However, the way the track conditions were changing now caused the car to be more on the loose side and caused the car to turn slower lap times than desired. The battle to remain on the lead lap looked like it would work out for the team.
But, with the race going green for the second half of the race, it didn’t allow the team the opportunity to make the desired pit stops to make more adjustments to get back to the good. With that, Wallace hung on for all he could as the checkered flag loomed on lap 200. Only 10 cars managed to finish on the lead lap with Wallace coming crossing the stripe in 20th place. This added another top-20 finish to their season’s total and kept him in 13th in the driver’s point standings.
The NASCAR Nationwide Series has the upcoming weekend off and will return to action at Dover International Speedway on Saturday, October 1.
Mike Wallace Quotes: “We started out pretty decent and started to move forward there for the early part of the race. The car was a little too tight for my liking, so we took advantage of the second caution and stayed out to lead a lap.”
“When we were able to pit, the adjustments we made went the wrong way and the car was now too loose to turn the way we needed. So, we tried like crazy to stay on the lead lap and that battle went away when there weren’t any more cautions.”
“We tried some different strategies to get back on the lead lap, but it didn’t just work out to our advantage. The good news is, we made some gains on the things we’ve been working on but we just needed to get that to happen for the entire race.”
“This JD Motorsports team keeps trying and we’re getting there, and that’s encouraging. We’re going to take advantage of the week off and regroup to get ready for Dover. I’ve won there before, so that always helps the confidence level when you head to a track.”