TRG Motorsports No. 71 Makes First Sprint Cup Laps at Daytona Daytona Beach, Florida (February 7, 2009) - TRG Motorsports has turned its first laps as an official entry in the 51st running of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Daytona 500. With Mike...
TRG Motorsports No. 71 Makes First Sprint Cup Laps at Daytona
Daytona Beach, Florida (February 7, 2009) - TRG Motorsports has turned its first laps as an official entry in the 51st running of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Daytona 500. With Mike Wallace behind the wheel, the No. 71 TRG Motorsports Chevrolet Impala SS began the journey to make the race.
Wallace's experience on the first day of running has been positive. The NASCAR veteran with 35 Sprint Cup restrictor plate race starts is pleased with the car on his initial run. Wallace put in a best practice lap time of 48.582 seconds with a speed of 185 mph which had him 39th out of the 57 cars trying to qualify for the Daytona 500.
"When you come to a body work track like Daytona, you want to unload off of the truck fast," Wallace said. "We are about in the bottom third of the pack and that just means we will have to work at it this week. For TRG's first ever run at Daytona we put down a lap of 48.58, eight-tenths off of the pole. There are some good cars ahead of us and some great ones behind us. I think that is a really great start for a new effort in the most competitive series in racing."
For qualifying tomorrow Wallace is philosophical.
"Qualifying here is really a math equation. You have three spots that are locked in tomorrow for the cars that have to qualify on time. It would be really nice to get into one of those spots. However, the nice thing about the Daytona 500 is that you get another chance to get in through the Gatorade 150s. There are two spots that make the race from each of those races."
Wallace appreciates how special running the Daytona 500 is to a driver and a team. Wallace will roll of 43rd of the 57 that will attempt to qualify.
"Running the 500 is one of the greatest experiences ever for a driver. When you are apart of the prerace ceremonies like driver introductions and all of the things leading up to the green flag, that is worth the price of admission alone."
An equally excited Kevin Buckler, TRG Motorsports team principal, watched the team's Sprint Cup car circulate around with a huge sense of pride.
"You really get wrapped up in the process of getting the team together, getting the car ready and all that goes along with just getting here. Once you see the car on TV going around the track and on SPEED Channel it really sets in that you are running at Daytona trying to get in the 500. For our company that started in 1993 this is really big day for my wife Debra and me. Now we are focused on qualifying and getting in the race."
Qualifying will begin tomorrow, Sunday, at 1:10 p.m. and will be televised live on FOX.