STEVE WALLACE POSTS SOLID TOP-15 FINISH IN CALIFORNIA Following a disappointing Daytona Speedweeks for Team Atreus Rusty Wallace Racing, the No. 66 and No. 64 teams both rebounded in a strong fashion Monday afternoon, scoring Top-15 and Top-20...
STEVE WALLACE POSTS SOLID TOP-15 FINISH IN CALIFORNIA
Following a disappointing Daytona Speedweeks for Team Atreus Rusty Wallace Racing, the No. 66 and No. 64 teams both rebounded in a strong fashion Monday afternoon, scoring Top-15 and Top-20 finishes, respectively, in the Stater Brothers 300 at the newly-renamed Auto Club Speedway.
Following nearly four straight days of rain, which postponed the event two days, the Nationwide Series teams took the green flag for the Stater Brothers 300 just after 1:00 PM PT on Monday. Due to the rain, the starting field was set by 2007 owners' points, which saw David Stremme's No. 64 roll off from the 26th position and Steve Wallace's No. 66 Chevy start just one spot behind, in 27th.
When the green flag dropped, however, the Team Atreus duo would not stay in those positions for long, with the young Wallace rocketing all the way to the 14th position and Stremme storming to the 21st spot by lap ten. Stremme eventually followed his teammate into the top-15 by around the 60 mark. The two teammates remained among the leaders for the majority of the day.
Throughout the course of the race, both teams chased handling conditions on their Chevrolets, with Stremme complaining of a extreme "loose" condition early in a fuel run, which later switched to a "tight" condition by the end of the run. Wallace described the opposite condition on his car, starting with a "tight" condition which became an extreme "loose" condition by the end of a fuel run.
The race ran without incident for the Rusty Wallace Racing squad, with the exception of a lap 54 incident between Wallace and the No. 47 of Kelly Bires. As the field exited turn four, Bires's No. 47 appeared to accelerate much less rapidly than the cars around him, causing Wallace to make accidental contact with the No. 47 and spinning Bires into the retaining wall.
With no major damage to either the No. 66 or No. 64 cars, both teams plan to take their California cars to next weekend's event at Las Vegas, in either a primary or backup role.
STEVE WALLACE, DRIVER, NO. 66 ATREUS HOMES & COMMUNITIES CHEVROLET: "Today was definitely a solid run for our team. With the hole we got thrown into last week at Daytona, it's all about scoring points for us and days like today will do just that. Our Atreus Homes & Communities Chevrolet was really fast at the beginning of a fuel run all day today, but got really, really loose by the end of almost every run. All in all though, I felt like we had a good, competitive car today and this gives us something to build on going forward. We'll go to Las Vegas next week and see what we can do; we were second or third fastest in the last day of the test there, so I'm stoked about getting to Vegas and getting it on."
DAVID STREMME, DRIVER, NO. 64 ATREUS HOMES & COMMUNITIES CHEVROLET: "All in all, today was a good points day for our Atreus team. We managed to keep our nose clean all day and came out of there with a top-20. I felt like our team's communication was good, but with a new crew chief-driver-crew combination, it just takes time to develop fully. I really felt like we'd have a lot better day today, but our car was just terribly loose at the beginning of almost every run and then got dead tight by the end. We worked hard on the car as the day went on, but just could never get it quite right. I'm excited about Vegas though; after last month's test, I think we should have something for them there."