Daytona II: Mike Wallace preview

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (July 1, 2003) - When Mike Wallace says he likes racing at Daytona International Speedway, he has the results to prove it. The 44-year-old driver, who is subbing for the injured Jerry Nadeau in the No. 01 U.S. Army Pontiac,...

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (July 1, 2003) - When Mike Wallace says he likes racing at Daytona International Speedway, he has the results to prove it.

The 44-year-old driver, who is subbing for the injured Jerry Nadeau in the No. 01 U.S. Army Pontiac, had one of his most memorable weekends of racing in February during the Daytona Speedweeks. He competed in three different NASCAR races - Craftsman Truck, Busch and Winston Cup - and posted top-10 finishes in each event.

Wallace started the three-day weekend of racing with a sixth-place finish in Friday's truck race while driving for team owner Ken Schrader. The following day he finished fourth in the Busch Series race in the No. 4 Biagi Brothers car. And in the main event - Daytona 500 - Wallace recorded a ninth-place finish in the No. 09 Phoenix Racing entry.

"Personally, that was a special weekend for me," said Wallace. "To drive three different vehicles in three different races on a historic track and come away with three top 10s is something I will also remember."

Wallace's Winston Cup record at Daytona also includes three top-10 finishes in his last five appearances at the 2.5-mile tri-oval. He was sixth in the 2001 Daytona 500, 10th in the 2001 Pepsi 400 and ninth at this year's Daytona 500.

Wallace, the middle of three racing brothers, will be looking to expand his Daytona success in Saturday's (July 5) under-the-lights Pepsi 400.

"Daytona has been good to me over the years and I don't see any reason why the success won't continue this weekend in the U.S. Army car," said Wallace. "I feel very comfortable and at ease when I race there."

Having a high comfort level when driving at Daytona is not the only reason why Wallace feels enthusiastic about this weekend's 400-mile race.

"The U.S. Army car was awfully strong in this year's (Daytona) 500 and that makes it even more exciting for me," said Wallace, who will also compete in Friday's Busch race. "Jerry (Nadeau) was running in the top five until a pit road incident knocked him to the back. Ryan (U.S. Army crew chief Ryan Pemberton) has put together a strong superspeedway program."

Actually, the U.S. Army Pontiac that Wallace will be driving this weekend is the Talladega superspeedway car that Nadeau drove in April. Unfortunately, the team wasn't able to collect much race data at Talladega -- the car got damaged during a multi-car accident on the fourth lap.

"The Talladega car is better," said Pemberton. "Hopefully it will have an opportunity to showcase its potential this weekend."

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Ken Schrader , Jerry Nadeau , Mike Wallace
Teams Phoenix Racing