GAFFNEY, S.C. (September 2, 2012) – Mike Wallace and the No. 01 G&K Services Chevrolet and teammate Danny Efland in the No. 4 Tradebank Chevrolet had good result from their night of racing in Saturday’s NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
After the one and only practice session during the morning hours at the 1.5-mile, high-banked oval on Saturday, Wallace was 17th on the speed chart and Efland was 35th. When they completed their qualifying laps, the No. 01 Chevrolet with Wallace on board was 27th and the No. 4 Tradebank car was 36th for the initial green flag.
Like he does each and every race, Wallace put his four-NNS race win experience to use and found his rhythm around the fast-paced oval. Efland was doing the same from his position as dusk turned into darkness.
Fast-paced racing is always the norm at AMS and the action got started with the first, of eight, cautions just four laps after the green flag. Wallace didn’t pit that soon, but did utilize following stops to make chassis adjustments, get fresh tires and top off with fuel.
Early reports from the driver to crew chief Newt Moore were the car was loose in the high-banked turns. With the way AMS is laid out, it seems drivers spend more time turning through the long turns and dog leg than they do going straight at this track.
Thus, the challenge was on for driver and crew chief to get the car to handle better. After three stops to make improvements to the car, they elected to go a different way and work their way back to their original set-up.
This kept Wallace in the hunt for track position and moving him up the scoring pylon. Of the five pit stops, one was for fuel only and to earn that treasured track position and another was done under the green flag.
Before a stop on lap 165, Wallace radioed in that a gear was broke and the crew needed to push him out of the pits after servicing the car. It didn’t hinder the racing, just made the pit stops a little more difficult.
However, as is usual with this No. 01 G&K Services Chevrolet team, they kept their heads in the game and didn’t give up. This is what enabled them to earn a 17th-place finish when the checkered flag waved on lap 195.
Adding to their seventh top-20 finish in the last eight races was the fact teammate Danny Efland came across 19th in the No. 4 Tradebank Chevrolet for the team.
That finish by Wallace kept him at 12th in the Driver’s Points, where he now trails 11th by 23 markers. This weekend, the NNS heads to Richmond International Raceway for a Friday night race.
Mike Wallace Quotes: “The best way to caption this whole weekend for us is “Loose, loose, loose in Atlanta.” We were loose in our practice session, then loose in qualifying and then loose in the race.
“When you race as fast as we do at a track like Atlanta; being loose can make for a long weekend for a lot of laps. But, the team and I both kept our heads in the game and made changes throughout the race.
“We went one way, then changed back to where we started, took advantage of a wave around, did a fuel only stop and just did what we needed to finish the race. We had something go on the clutch just before the last stop and that forced the guys to push me out of our pit box to get going again.
“The fact we earned another top-20 was pretty good after all we went through. And, our teammate came home in 19th place giving JD Motorsports two commendable finishes.”
“Speaking of commendable, my daughter (Chrissy) finished sixth in a PASS race at Caraway (NC) Speedway; which isn’t bad considering she hasn’t been in a car all season. Matt’s race (Late Model, Lebanon I44 (MO) Speedway) got rained out on Saturday.”
Source: JD Motorsports