TRG Motorsports Just Misses Making Daytona 500 Daytona Beach, Florida (February 12, 2009) - TRG Motorsports missed making the Daytona 500 by one place today. The team ran in the second Gatorade Duel 150 with Mike Wallace and the No. 71 ...
TRG Motorsports Just Misses Making Daytona 500
Daytona Beach, Florida (February 12, 2009) - TRG Motorsports missed making the Daytona 500 by one place today. The team ran in the second Gatorade Duel 150 with Mike Wallace and the No. 71 TRG Motorsports Chevrolet Impala SS finishing in 13th, just one place shy of making the field at Daytona International Speedway today.
Wallace started from the 22nd position and steadily moved toward the front of the field. The race witnessed two cautions and the fast pit work of the Casey Mears/Jack Daniels crew made up spots for the team with each stop.
As the race progressed the car started to get tight causing Wallace to lose the draft. On the last restart Wallace was in contention when he got shoved high causing a brief loss of momentum affecting his run to the 44 car which secured the last transfer spot for the 500 of the go or go homers in the race.
"We did the best job we could," Wallace said. "We came up a little short. We just needed a little more time. When I was running there at the end I got shuffled back, when I didn't need to get shuffled back. The guys got the car pretty good on the last stop. Had we had about another lap I think I would have had something more for them, I got shuffled on the bottom there. The 12 got to the outside of me and got me really loose in three and four and I just had to hang onto it and came up short."
The team put four rounds of wedge in the car and four tires on the last stop to give Wallace the best possible opportunity to get in the race.
"The car was better after the last pit stop. What really hurt bad is when I got loose there and I tried to get back to the upper line and the 33 was there. I tried to work my way in and he wouldn't let me in and that shuffled me way back. That was my own fault. It is hard to say what you need, more laps, more help on the track, a faster car. The car was good, the team was good, we were one spot short of making the Daytona 500. Nothing really makes a lot of sense right now."
Kevin Buckler, TRG Motorsports team owner, looks at today as a learning experience and wants more.
"We will be back," Buckler said. "Mike did a good job, the pit stops were flawless and we were in a position to get in there at the end when we got pushed up the track. The ending of theses restrictor plate races can put you in victory lane or on the trailer in one lap. We are entered for California next week for the Sprint Cup race, but I am unsure if we can make it. We will catch our breath and take a look at the calendar and see when it makes sense to run the car again. It will be sooner than later."