Mike Wallace takes top-20 finish from Nashville night race
Mike Wallace and the No. 01 Cowboys and Aliens movie Chevrolet had a consistent weekend at Nashville Superspeedway en route to a commendable top-20 finish in Saturday night’s NASCAR Nationwide Series race. After posting the 21st and 19th practice speeds, respectively, in the two sessions on Friday, the JD Motorsports team backed that up by qualifying 21st on Saturday. Based off their performance leading up to the race, both driver and team knew what they needed to do to achieve success.
Hot temperatures made for a slick track surface on the concrete oval of Nashville and teams had to set their race strategy to deal with air temperatures dropping once the sun set. Such was the plan for Wallace and the No. 01 Chevrolet for the 225-lap event just outside of Music City.
In the early going, the St. Louis native was racing right where he qualified while floating in and out of the top-20 positions. When a race only affords three cautions, with the first not coming until the 88th circuit, teams have to make green-flag pit stops for fuel, adjustments and tires. JD Motorsports managed to execute the pit stops under green and make the right adjustments to keep Wallace competitive in the race. The other bad part with only three cautions is that it doesn’t allow the opportunity for more cars to take advantage of the Lucky Dog Rule to get back on the lead lap. Once the No. 01 Cowboys and Aliens movie Chevrolet went down a lap, the battle was to gain more positions amongst those cars one circuit off the pace. Wallace and team did just that and ended up being able to race their way past others, and maintain position, during the race towards the solid finish.
When the final caution waved on lap 178, it allowed for one last chance for major adjustments to make any gains towards the checkered flag. From there, Wallace gave it his all to gain what he could en route to his top-20 finish. When that checkered flag did wave, only 13 cars were on the lead lap as the No. 01 JD Motorsports Chevrolet finished 19th. This was the team’s 10th top-20 finish of the season and keeps Wallace ranked 12th in the Driver’s Standings, trailing 11th by 12 markers.
This weekend, the NASCAR Nationwide Series will be back at it under the lights as they take on Lucas Oil Raceway Park in Indianapolis, Ind. on Saturday night.
Mike Wallace quotes: “Well, it wasn’t a great night and it wasn’t a bad night. We were pretty consistent with what we had during the two practices and how we qualified. The track changed a little bit and we were able to keep up with that part of the race. “
“We just didn’t get to improve the way we had hoped during the race for a better finish. Making it even tougher was the fact there were only three cautions all night and it kind of traps you in the running order. But, we made the adjustments we did and got the best finish we could for our Cowboys and Aliens movie Chevrolet. The movie comes out this week, so I want everyone to go see it starting on Friday.”
“This weekend we head to the short track in Indy and look to keep building on what we’re learning each week. I like the short tracks, I grew up on the short tracks and that’s where I got my start. So, I’m looking forward to this race.”
By: jd motorsports