Mike Wallace has disasterous Pikes Peak

FOUNTAIN, CO (May 22, 2000) - As the defending champion of the Grainger.com 200 at Pikes Peak International Raceway and the current NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series points leader, Mike Wallace entered Sunday's NCTS event at the one-mile ...

FOUNTAIN, CO (May 22, 2000) - As the defending champion of the Grainger.com 200 at Pikes Peak International Raceway and the current NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series points leader, Mike Wallace entered Sunday's NCTS event at the one-mile Colorado track with a lot of confidence. By the end of the day, Wallace's hopes of victory, his #2 Team ASE Ford, and the season points lead had all been shattered. "I'm OK, just a little sore and I'll probably be a little more sore in the morning," said Wallace after a hard crash eliminated him on Lap 58 of the 200-circuit event. "We know we cut a right front tire down, we just can't understand why we'd cut two down in such a short period of time. The first time we cut the right front, I went down into Turn 1 and felt it going down and was lucky enough to catch it and make it to the pits without hitting anything. The second time I was already a lot deeper into the corner and it just blew. It was all over then. There was nothing I could do but hang on The guys on the crew told me that I hit so hard it actually damaged the engine. I'm OK, but this is a real blow to our championship chances." Wallace was officially credited with 33rd in the final running order. Combined with a fourth-place finish by Jack Sprague, Wallace went from leading Sprague by 40 points in the title chase to trailing him by a 1,436-1,380 (56-point) margin. Wallace started the ninth race of the 2000 NCTS season from the 15th position and quickly moved up several spots in the early going. That's when the unexpected tire woes struck the #2 Team ASE Ford sending the St. Louis, MO driver to the pits for fresh rubber on Lap 49. Less than 10 laps later, Wallace's day ended with a resounding thud against the Turn 1 wall. "There were a lot of guys and teams that were concerned with tire wear during practice Saturday," said Wallace. "We weren't one of them. Our Team ASE Ford F150 didn't show any indication that we had a problem, so I wasn't worried about it." The 33rd-place finish earned Wallace $9,390 of the $488,035 purse for the event. It also marked the first time in nine events this season that Wallace, who has a pair of victories this year, has finished outside the Top-10 in a NCTS event. "This team isn't about to quit," said Wallace. "Even with the bad break we got today, we'll just get ready for the next race at Monroe, WA in a couple of weeks and try to gain back what we lost today. It's still early in the season and we're still in the thick of things, I just hate to get knocked out by something like this that you have absolutely no control over." As Wallace mentioned, the next stop on the 24-race 2000 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series tour will be at the venerable .646-mile Evergreen Speedway in Monroe, WA. The Saturday, June 3 event will be telecast live on ESPN at 8 p.m. Eastern Time. It will also be broadcast live by MRN radio.

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Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Mike Wallace , Jack Sprague