Right front flat ends night early for Mike Wallace and No. 01 Iowa 80 Truck Stop team
GAFFNEY, S.C. (August 7, 2011) – Mike Wallace and the No. 01 Chevrolet team of JD Motorsports was feeling pretty good after landing a last-minute sponsor for Saturday night’s NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Iowa Speedway.
When the Iowa 80 Truck Stop in Walcott, Iowa came on board Friday, the entire team’s morale was boosted for the race. Billed as the World’s Largest Truck Stop, Wallace and team wanted to give them their world’s best performance at the short track located down the interstate from them in Newton, Iowa.
After qualifying 33rd, the team knew they had their work cut out for them to achieve their goals. And, once the race got started, they were pretty much headed in the that direction, too. Taking the first caution on lap 24 to come in for adjustments, Wallace said the car was coming to him more and more on the longer runs. As the sun set over the Midwestern track, the change in temperatures was suiting the No. 01 Iowa 80 Truck Stop’s chassis and tire pressure set ups.
Another caution on lap 49 allowed for even more adjustments to improve the car’s handling around the uniquely-laid out track. This aided the team even more as the laps were clicking down as the air and track started to cool even more. By lap 90, Wallace was in the Lucky Dog position ready to take advantage of the next caution to get back on the lead lap and start his move up the scoring pylon. However, the fate of his race would change on lap 100.
As he was coursing through Turns 1 and 2, the right front tire on the No. 01 Chevrolet let loose forcing the car straight to the outside retaining wall. The caution waved, but because he was the cause of the caution, Wallace couldn’t take advantage to get back on the lead lap. But, that was for naught as the damage sustained to the right front of the No. 01 Iowa 80 Truck Stop car sent him straight to the garage area. The team did their best to get Wallace back out there for the all-important driver’s points.
However, after much effort and repair, owner Johnny Davis deemed the car beyond repair forcing the team out of the race leaving them with an undeserved 33rd-place finish. While the car may have suffered great damage, Wallace’s standings in the points didn’t as he remained 13th in the driver’s category trailing 12th by only eight markers.
This weekend, the NNS heads to Watkins Glen International for their second, of third, road course races. When they took to the twists and turns of Road America in June, the JD Motorsports team left there with a top-five finish.
Mike Wallace Quotes: “You know, you can put all the time and effort into getting a car ready, figuring out the best way to get it around the track and have it all go away in an instant when something out of your control goes bad. That had to be the worst bit of luck and timing I’ve experienced in a long time.”
“Getting a flat is something that happens all the time in this sport. You go a lap down and make your car better on some pit stops to the point you feel good everything is going to be okay. I was riding right there in the Lucky Dog position just waiting for the opportunity to get back on the lead lap.”
“Well, the opportunity came, but unfortunately it was us and we ended up hard into the wall. The guys on the team worked their butts off to fix the car, but Johnny (Davis, team owner) realized we would have hurt the car more going back out there.”
“Again, I would like to thank Iowa 80 Truck Stop for coming on board last minute like they did for this race. And, the great folks at the Meskwaki Bingo Casino Hotel in Tama, Iowa for their great hospitality this weekend, too. We had an all-Iowa car; we just didn’t have an Iowa all-star finish for them.”