Memphis Mike Wallace; that''s racin''

MEMPHIS, TN (May 13, 2000) - For 199 laps, Mike Wallace and the ...

MEMPHIS, TN (May 13, 2000) - For 199 laps, Mike Wallace and the #2 Team ASE Ford managed to stay out of harms way in the Quaker State 200 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series event at Memphis Motorsports Park. The final lap, however, was a different story. "We had a fairly uneventful race, right up until the last turn of the last lap," said Wallace, who finished fourth, his sixth Top-5 effort in eight NCTS races this season. "I got a good run on Andy Houston off of Turn 2 and dove under him going into Turn 3. I had my truck as low on the racetrack as thought I could go and he just kept trying to push me lower. We touched and he spun. It wasn't intentional. Andy and I are good friends and I just hate that it happened. I hate to use the old cliché 'that's racing', but in this situation, that's exactly what it was. I know Andy is upset, we talked about it right after the race. But we'll talk some more between now and next week and I'm sure by the time we race there next weekend, it will all be behind us. I really hate it for his crew, I know they worked really hard to get his truck back together after he wrecked in Happy Hour Friday and this is a tough way to end up. We both could have ended up with a Top-5 finish today, but instead he ended up 15th. On a track like this on the last lap, if you've got the preferred grove like I did, you're not going to back out. It's just not going to work." For the most part, things worked well for the St.Louis, MO native throughout the weekend. Wallace and his Team ASE mount were competitive right out of the gate qualifying ninth with a speed of 117.162 miles per hour. At the drop of the green flag, the current NCTS season points leader rocketed toward the front running in the Top-5 for most of the event. The biggest challenge for Wallace didn't seem to be staying with the leaders, but rather missing a number of wrecks that plagued the rock 'em, sock 'em event on the .75-mile Memphis oval. That was especially true over the final few circuits. "Memphis is really a short track, and there's going to be a lot of bumping," said Wallace. "It's just the nature of short track racing. Looking back at the last couple of laps, it would have been a lot better if NASCAR would have held the yellow out two more laps. That way, we would have been inside 10 laps to go and all the lead lap trucks could have lined up at the front of the pack. We wouldn't have had to battle the slower trucks trying to get their lap back. I don't know that it would have made a difference, but it might have." The late-race fireworks aside, Wallace managed to turn in yet another strong performance collecting $15,500 for the effort. The solid finish kept him atop the NCTS standings by a 40-point margin over Jack Sprague, who won Saturday's Memphis event. "Our Team ASE Ford was close all day, just a little tight in the middle part of the race," said Wallace. "We also got off sequence on the pit stops. We're still leading the points, but man, that #24 team (Sprague) is getting strong. That shouldn't surprise anyone. They're a championship caliber team. We're going to have to battle them the rest of the season to win the championship." Wallace and Sprague won't have to wait long to take their championship tussle back to the track as the NCTS regulars will now head to Pikes Peak International Raceway on Sunday, May 21. Wallace's Team ASE Ford will enter the event as the favorite having won last year's NAPA 300K at PPIR. "Pikes Peak is a place the Team ASE Ford has run good at in the past, so we'll carry a lot of confidence back there with us this time around," said the 40-year-old driver. "We should be in the hunt for another victory right from the start of the race." The NAPA 300K will take the green flag Sunday at 3 p.m. Eastern Time. The race will be telecast live by ESPN and broadcast worldwide by MRN radio.

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About this article
Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Mike Wallace , Andy Houston , Jack Sprague