Wallace, AutoZone Team Survive Snow Storm, Numerous Wrecks to Finish 8th (BRISTOL, TN) -- Kenny Wallace and the AutoZone Racing team survived a crazy weekend at the "World's Fastest Half-Mile" to bring home the first top-ten finish of the year...
Wallace, AutoZone Team Survive Snow Storm, Numerous Wrecks to Finish 8th
(BRISTOL, TN) -- Kenny Wallace and the AutoZone Racing team survived a crazy weekend at the "World's Fastest Half-Mile" to bring home the first top-ten finish of the year for the #22 AutoZone Ford. For the second straight weekend in a row, the NASCAR Busch Series battled changing weather conditions for on-track time. In spite of all the unique weather delays, the NASCAR Busch Series was able to complete all 300 laps of the Sharpie Mini 300.
All of Friday's scheduled practice sessions were cancelled due to rainy conditions. The Busch Series teams came to the track bright and early Saturday morning hoping to get on track for much need practice time before the race. Mother Nature finally cooperated and despite freezing temperatures the AutoZone Ford ran some hot lap times placing Kenny Wallace 15th on the time sheet.
Qualifying for the Sharpie Mini 300 got underway just after noon, but only seven cars into the session, the first major snow storm of the day blew across the Bristol Motor Speedway halting qualifying. The starting line-up was determined by owner point's standings and the #22 AutoZone Ford would roll off 23rd.
"This weather is absolutely crazy," Wallace said. "I have never seen snow like this before. It created a really fun atmosphere with everyone throwing snow balls, but I really wish that we could have gotten qualifying in. Our #22 AutoZone Ford is way better than our 23rd starting spot, but we'll just have to be patient and work our way to the front because there are a lot of rookies and slower cars starting in front of us."
In the opening laps of Saturday's race, Wallace cautiously began working his way though traffic and up to the 19th position before the clouds opened up and snow began falling on the track at lap 30. NASCAR brought the cars down pit road under red flag conditions and the #22 AutoZone crew scrambled to cover the car quickly. After a lengthy delay, the track was dried and drivers were called back to their cars to complete the race.
Throughout the remaining laps of the Sharpie Mini 300, veteran driver Kenny Wallace showed his patience and experience by strategically moving his way through the field, skillfully avoiding wreck after wreck, and eventually moving into the top-ten. By the time the checkered flag waved on lap 300, Wallace battled his way into the strong 8th place finish.
"It feels really good to run strong all day long and finally get the first top-ten finish of the year for this AutoZone team," Wallace said. "We had a crazy weekend with all of the weird weather conditions and limited track time, but my team stayed on top of the changes and we worked hard to get this finish. I can't remember the last time that we had a snow delay. It was fun to get out of our cars during the red flag and have it turn into a snow ball fight with the fans. I'm glad that we were able to get the race in and that I was a part of this crazy weekend."