Mike Wallace in the hunt for Daytona 400 victory

Consistent Mike Wallace in the hunt for Cinderella Pepsi 400 victory. DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., (April 16, 2003) -- Although Mike Wallace went winless in his three races during Speedweeks 2003, he did prove his consistency by posting three top-10 ...

Consistent Mike Wallace in the hunt for Cinderella Pepsi 400 victory.

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., (April 16, 2003) -- Although Mike Wallace went winless in his three races during Speedweeks 2003, he did prove his consistency by posting three top-10 finishes.

Wallace finished ninth in the Daytona 500, fourth in the Koolerz 300 NASCAR Busch Series race and sixth in the Florida Dodge Dealers 250 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race.

Entering the Pepsi 400 weekend, Wallace will have only two races on his mind - the July 5 Pepsi 400 NASCAR Winston Cup Series event and the July 4 NASCAR Busch Series 250.

Wallace will be one of the underdogs to keep an eye on during the Pepsi 400. He'll be driving owner James Finch's No. 09 Miccosukee Indian Gaming Dodge, a car that competes in a limited Winston Cup schedule and traditionally performs strong at Daytona.

Besides Wallace's ninth-place finish in the 2003 Daytona 500, the No. 09 car, with driver Geoffrey Bodine, finished third in the 2002 Daytona 500 and took the outside pole for the 2002 Pepsi 400.

Wallace, who'll be driving the No. 4 GEICO Pontiac in the NASCAR Busch Series 250, is confident he'll be in the hunt for a victory in this year's 45th annual mid-summer classic.

"We're looking forward to taking our Miccosukee car back there again and improving on our ninth-place finish (in the Daytona 500)," Wallace said. "I think we had a better car than that. Everybody who didn't win the race thought they had a better car than that. Hopefully, we'll come off with no hitches whatsoever."

Wallace, like the No. 09 car, has a solid track record at Daytona. He won the inaugural Florida Dodge Dealers 250 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race at the historic 2.5-mile tri-oval in 2000 and captured the Advance Discount Auto Parts 200 ARCA RE/MAX Series race in 1994.

"Daytona was my first major win," Wallace said. "I won the ARCA race back in '94 driving for (Ken) Schrader and that was funny because Schrader said that was an alcohol induced dilemma that we got ourselves into. We were at a party and all agreed we were going to race Daytona and ended up winning the event.

"I've always run well and I like the place. This past Speedweeks was a phenomenal deal for me because I drove two different cars and a truck and everything ran fairly quick. For some reason, I run really well there. I think I can run well everywhere as long as I am in good race cars. I'm honored to have the opportunity in the (No. 09) car I'm in this year."

Tickets for the Pepsi 400 weekend are available online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling the Speedway ticket office at (386) 253-7223.

-dis-

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Geoffrey Bodine , Mike Wallace