BUSCH: Montreal: Steve Wallace race report

Steve Wallace and Team HomeLife Communities RWI Racing traveled to Montreal this weekend to tackle the famed Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, home of Formula One's Canadian Grand Prix. Despite having only one career road course start, the 19 year-old ...

Steve Wallace and Team HomeLife Communities RWI Racing traveled to Montreal this weekend to tackle the famed Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, home of Formula One's Canadian Grand Prix. Despite having only one career road course start, the 19 year-old Wallace followed up on his promising race in the March event at Mexico City and was amazingly up to speed almost immediately on the Île Notre Dame. The series' youngest full-time driver was among the top-ten fastest in three of the weekend's four practice sessions, even pacing Friday's AM session.

After posting a 16th place qualifying effort (3rd best of non-NEXTEL Cup Series, full-time Busch Series drivers), Steve Wallace started the event from the outside of row 8, alongside current series points leader, Carl Edwards. Steve's patience and persistence was tested early, as following an effort to avoid a spinning competitor on lap three, he was assessed a pass-through penalty for bypassing the turn 13 chicane. This penalty dropped him from the 16 position all the way to 28th. Believing in his car and his team's strategy, however, Wallace soldiered on and his often-touted speed showed, as the 19 year-old wheelman consistently pounded out laps that put him among the top-ten fastest teams, against competition from some of the world's greatest road racers. By the 25-lap mark, the teenager had knifed his way through the field, bypassing Gibbs's Aric Almirola and moving into the 17th position.

Despite Wallace's strong performance, the monkey which has so often been on Steve's back in 2007, would again rear his ugly head following the race's first full-course caution, thrown on lap 31 for fluids on the racing surface. Crew chief Steve Darne smiled as the caution played directly into the team's strategy and he brought Wallace to pit road on lap 32 for the day's second stop. Following a lightning-fast 14.2-second four-tire pit stop, Wallace returned to competition, ready to battle his way into the top-ten. In a strange twist of fate, typical of others that have bitten the team in 2007, Steve hit the before-mentioned fluids while entering turn one directly after his exit from pit road. The fluids on the track robbed the No.66 of all grip, making Wallace's steering input useless and forcing the No.66 Dodge off course, where Steve made minor contact with the track's outer barrier.

Following the incident, Steve Wallace brought the HomeLife Communities machine to pit road and the attention of his Steve Darne-led team. An initial inspection of the car found virtually no damage and Darne sent the No.66 back to competition, where Wallace would restart in 20th place on lap 34. Unfortunately for the team, their run would come to an end on just the next lap, when the engine in Wallace's Dodge suffered a failure for only the first time this season.

STEVE WALLACE, DRIVER, NO.66 HOMELIFE COMMUNITIES RWI RACING DODGE CHARGER

"Man, I have no idea what we have to do in order to get some luck. The weird things that have happened to us this year have been unbelievable. I haven't ever had a year like this where I've been bitten by so much bad luck. At least we've been pretty fast everywhere this year and today was no exception. Our car was getting better and better all day long and the way things turned out, I really feel like we could have ended up in the top-ten, if not the top-five." Our run today has us all really optimistic heading to Watkins Glen, where our team finished third last year."

-credit: rwi

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About this article
Series NASCAR XFINITY
Drivers Gilles Villeneuve , Carl Edwards , Aric Almirola , Steve Wallace