Mike Wallace has bad week at Phoenix, looks for better at Mesa Marin

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (March 20, 2000) -- Mike Wallace had high hopes for this weekend's NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series event at Phoenix International Raceway. The team unloaded a brand new truck they had tested at Greenville-Pickens (S.C.) Speedway to...

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (March 20, 2000) -- Mike Wallace had high hopes for this weekend's NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series event at Phoenix International Raceway.

The team unloaded a brand new truck they had tested at Greenville-Pickens (S.C.) Speedway to get an edge over the competition. Wallace qualified fifth for the Chevy Trucks 250, and although the team expected better, they were satisfied with the lap.

"It was decent," Wallace said. "Jimmy (Smith, car owner) just told me that it was the best lap we ran all day and as long as we ran it in qualifying that was good. I think our race setup is really good and all of the guys on the ASE/Ultra Motorsports team did a great job today."

But the right combination was not within reach, as if a black cloud hung over the team's pit. No matter what they tried or did, nothing worked.

"It was just one of those days that was totally confusing and nothing at all went right," said the driver of the No. 2 Team ASE Ford. "We were very positive yesterday going into the race and believed that we honestly had a truck that could win this race but we weren't in contention all day. The truck didn't race well and the pit stops were terrible. It just was not a good day for us.

"We did finish in the top-10 but we lost the point lead to Andy (Houston) by a pretty good way and that's not what we were looking to do. We were hoping we could lead this thing for a long time, right on through the end of the year. We're going to Bakersfield (Calif.) and in between here and there we'll work hard to figure out what happened to the truck and try to get our pit stops to be a little better. We'll be ready in Bakersfield and try to win there."

With his ninth place finish, Wallace dropped to second in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series point standings, 27 points behind A. Houston.

Wallace continues the NASCAR Craftman Truck Series tour of the west with this weekend's Dodge California Truck Stop 300 at Mesa Marin (Bakersfield, Calif.) Raceway. Rebound will be the buzz word for the team when they unload Wallace's blue, orange and white Ford. The Truck Series championship is still on everyone's mind, so trying to grab the top-spot in the point standings will be the task at hand.

"Bakersfield is a half-mile track that has seen a lot of miles," Wallace said. "We've done well there and we've led the race every time we've been there. We'll definitely go into the race thinking we can win it."

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Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Mike Wallace