RESILIENT WALLACE EARNS HARD-FOUGHT TOP 20 IN TEXAS Young Wheelman Perseveres after Krisiloff Spin Ruins Potential Top-Ten Transmission Woes End Day for Teammate Stremme and 64 Squad FORT WORTH, TX (April 6, 2008)--Saturday afternoon's O'Reilly...
RESILIENT WALLACE EARNS HARD-FOUGHT TOP 20 IN TEXAS
Young Wheelman Perseveres after Krisiloff Spin Ruins Potential Top-Ten
Transmission Woes End Day for Teammate Stremme and 64 Squad
FORT WORTH, TX (April 6, 2008)--Saturday afternoon's O'Reilly 300 started just after 3:00 PM Eastern from the colossal Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth. The race's starting field was set according to the NASCAR rulebook, after Thursday's qualifying session was cancelled due to rain. This saw Steve Wallace and Team Jimmy John's Rusty Wallace Racing start the event from the 23rd position, while teammate David Stremme and Team Atreus Rusty Wallace Racing would roll off from the 18th spot.
Upon the start of the event, Wallace and his Harold Holly-led team were pleased with the handling on the No.66 Chevrolet, as Wallace laid down some of the race's fastest laps. Despite the lack of a caution flag between laps 3 and 95, Wallace stormed all the way to 17th place by the race's 50-lap mark. Just after the race's halfway point, Wallace had moved around former RWR driver Jamie McMurray and into 11th place, where he stalked defending Nationwide Series champion, Carl Edwards for the 10th position.
Wallace and team brought the No.66 to pit road under green around lap 150, for what could have been the team's final stop of the day. After a 15-second stop, Wallace re-emerged on the track ready to battle for his first career top-ten finish. As fast as the team had been all day, their destiny would ultimately prove to be out of their hands, as No.41--Kyle Krisiloff spun on lap 157, trapping many of the leaders, including Wallace, Dale Earnhardt, Jr. and Edwards, on the tail end of the lead lap. Despite holding off leader Kyle Busch for quite some time, Busch eventually put Wallace one lap down, where he would ultimately finish.
The No.66 team brought Wallace to pit road for two-tire service during the race's final caution period on lap 192--just eight laps from the finish--and the move would pay off. As the field exited turn four on the race's final lap, Wallace, shod with the new tires, was able to steam past No.47-Kelly Bires, for the 16th finishing position.
While Wallace's day was ultimately positive, David Stremme and the No.64 team faced more of a struggle during the race. Following the lap 96 restart, the transmission in Stremme's Chevrolet would fail, leaving him stuck in second gear. Stremme's Dale Ferguson-led squad would quickly change the transmission, but the change ultimately left the team 37 laps down to the leaders. The No.64 team, who entered the race with three top-tens in the last four races, ultimately ended the day with a sub-standard 35th-place finish.
Following the Texas race, Steve Wallace maintained his hold on the 15th position in the Nationwide Series drivers' standings, while Stremme fell one spot to 14th. Both drivers are within 150 points of tenth-place Kevin Harvick.