Team ASE Ford, Wallace pass Phoenix test

MOORESVILLE, N.C. (Jan. 12, 1999) The first test of the new year came early for the new cast and crew of the No. 2 Team ASE Ford. In a two-day NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series testing session at Phoenix International Raceway Jan. 4-5 in conjunction with two IRL teams, the familiar blue and orange No. 2 Ford and its new driver and crew chief came through with flying colors, indeed.

Team owner Jim Smith was on hand for the test. He was pleased with the results.

"Mike Wallace and Tim Kohuth were pretty impressive for their first dance with Ford," Smith said. "I think they were pleasantly surprised at how well our equipment performed, and overall I would have to rate the outing, on a scale of 1 to 10, a 12."

Wallace and Kohuth, both fresh from the Ken Schrader stable, have been working in the Ultra Motorsports race shop since early December to become familiar with their new surroundings.

"This test went very well," Kohuth said. "We chose Phoenix for our first test since Team ASE had a pretty good track record there, and it was easy for us to get a benchmark for Mike and myself with the Ford equipment, and a Yates engine. I can tell you two things. One, I think I am really going to like the Ford program. And two, the Yates engine program really is terrific."

And how did the new driver fare? Wallace turned a 'few' laps (the team probably got in 150 laps over the two days), and once he and Kohuth made some changes to the truck's set-up. Wallace was able to improve on the team's 1998 Phoenix lap times.

"The test was a success for us all the way around," Wallace said. "Having time to work with the new crew and new equipment was an important step in readying this team for the 1999 season, and obviously what I have learned about our truck this week will help me throughout the season."

Source: NASCAR Online