Wallace, AutoZone Team Get Caught Up in Wreck, Finish 35th (BRISTOL, TN) - To finish good under the lights, on the high-banks of Bristol Motor Speedway you definitely have to have luck on your side. Unfortunately, for Kenny Wallace and...
Wallace, AutoZone Team Get Caught Up in Wreck, Finish 35th
(BRISTOL, TN) - To finish good under the lights, on the high-banks of Bristol Motor Speedway you definitely have to have luck on your side. Unfortunately, for Kenny Wallace and the AutoZone team, their luck ran out on lap 177 when the #22 got caught up in a wreck and suffered major damage, resulting in a disappointing 35th place finish.
"Tonight was a tough night," driver Kenny Wallace said. "It started off pretty good and we were just out there riding around trying to stay out of trouble, waiting until the closing laps to race, but the rain really changed the strategy of the race. A few cars got together and spun coming off of turn four and there was no where to go. My AutoZone crew did a great job to get me repaired and back out on the track as quickly as possible so that we could try and gain more points."
Earlier in the day, the #22 AutoZone Ford Taurus ran fast, consistent lap times during the morning practice session and Wallace later ran a qualifying lap at 123.786 mph to place him 11th on the starting grid for the night's race.
In the opening laps of the Food City 250, Wallace maintained his position, running in the top-15, until lap 86 when Mother Nature poured down on Bristol Motor Speedway causing the night's first rain delay. After a long delay, the field returned to green flag racing around 10:20 p.m. and was able to run another 68 laps before the red flag waved, signaling the second rain delay of the night.
"The rainy conditions really changed the strategy and approach to the race," Wallace explained. "Teams were using a million different strategies to try and gain an edge, but I think we made the wrong choice when we decided to pit and then the second rain delay happened."
After the second rain delay, Wallace restarted the Food City 250 in 22nd position. On lap 177, Wallace could not avoid cars wrecking in front of him and the damage that the #22 AutoZone Ford sustained relegated the team to a 35th place finish.
"I love racing at Bristol because you never know what is going to happen," Wallace said. "Unfortunately, tonight luck was not on our side, but the AutoZone team pulled together to salvage as many championship points as we could. We definitely took a hit in the points, but we will work together to come back strong next weekend in California."
This weekend Kenny Wallace and the #22 AutoZone team head west to compete at California Speedway in Fontana, California. Live coverage of the Ameriquest 300 begins this Saturday, September 3 at 7:00 p.m. ET on NBC.