Kentucky Mike Wallace, Team ASA Post-Race Report

SPARTA, KY (June 17, 2000) - When Mike Wallace and the ...

SPARTA, KY (June 17, 2000) - When Mike Wallace and the #2 Team ASE Ford look back on the 2000 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series, the Kroger 225 at Kentucky Speedway will certainly bring back good memories. "The first thing I want to say is thank you to these great fans that came out tonight for the inaugural race at the Kentucky Speedway," said Wallace of the more than 60,000 who showed up to see him charge from deep in the field to score a third-place finish. "The fans have been great here all week and they saw a whale of a race here tonight. The first three guys in the points standings finished 1-2-3 in the race and there was good hard racing going on all night." Initially, it looked as though Wallace might struggle at the new, ultra modern 1.5-mile Kentucky Speedway after a sub-par 17th-place qualifying effort. "I messed up in qualifying yesterday," said Wallace matter of factly. "I let myself get a little psyched out when three of the four trucks that went out right ahead of me never made it back around. You sit in the truck and watch the safety trucks spreading the oil dry and trying to get the track cleaned up, and it has an effect on you. I knew we had a good truck for the race and I didn't want to jeopardize that by wrecking in qualifying, so I was a bit conservative in qualifying. You know this is a strange racetrack in a way. You stand up on top of the haulers and watch the trucks running around the track and they just don't look like they're going that fast, but believe me they are. We're carrying upwards of 185 MPH into the corners and I don't care where you are, that's fast. At those speeds, things happen in a hurry." At the drop of the green, Wallace hurried through the pack to take the lead. With his #2 Team ASE Ford on the point, rain showers hit the track delaying the event for just over an hour. "I'd be kidding if I didn't say that I was hoping for the rain to continue when the race was red flagged," said Wallace. "In fact the first two or three laps we ran under caution after the re-start, I keep looking for a huge thunderstorm or a tornado or something. In fairness, the fans deserved to see the race go all the way to the end and they got that." Back under green, Greg Biffle and Jack Sprague got by Wallace as the top-three drivers in the series crossed the finish line in that order. Biffle now leads Wallace by just 54 points in the season standings at the halfway point of the 2000 campaign. "I've got to congratulate Greg Biffle and his team on their victory, they were really strong tonight," said Wallace. "I got a little cautious on the last lap going into Turn 3 trying to protect my line. Jack got a good run on me and just did beat us at the line, so I've got to congratulate him too. Still the Team ASE crew did an outstanding job tonight. They gave me a truck capable of running in the front of the pack all night and cracked off some great pit stops to keep me up front." Wallace did have one regret at the end of the night, however. "I really wanted to win all three of the inaugural events on the schedule this year," said the St. Louis, MO native. "After winning at Daytona in February, this was the next one we were after. This one here would have been extra special, seeing as how it was the 125th race for Team ASE as a primary sponsor in the Truck Series. I guess we'll just have to try and win at Chicago and settle for two out of three. "We want to win every week when we come to the track, that's what we're here for," Wallace continued. "When you can't, you've got to take the best finish you can get and go on. Tonight, the best we could do was third. We did manage to lead the race and get the five bonus points and stay right in the thick of the point's battle. Tonight was a great effort for this whole team and I think once again shows that we're here for the long haul and are going to be in the points race until the end." Next up for Wallace and the Team ASE Ford will be the Bully Hill Vineyards 150 at Watkins Glen (NY) International on Saturday, June 24. The 62-lap race on the twisting 11-turn Watkins Glen road course will take the green flag at 1:30 p.m. Eastern Time and will be telecast live on ESPN. The event will also be broadcast by MRN radio.

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Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Greg Biffle , Mike Wallace , Jack Sprague