Mike Wallace Hopes to Relive Daytona Moment

CHARLOTTE, N.C., (Jan. 27, 2000) -- Mike Wallace vividly remembers that February afternoon when he crawled from his Ken Schrader-owned Automobile Racing Club of America (ARCA) car. He had just won his first ARCA race, but more importantly,...

CHARLOTTE, N.C., (Jan. 27, 2000) -- Mike Wallace vividly remembers that February afternoon when he crawled from his Ken Schrader-owned Automobile Racing Club of America (ARCA) car. He had just won his first ARCA race, but more importantly, he had won at the famed Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway. "The win in the ARCA car was definitely a highlight in my career," Wallace said, "especially because I visited victory lane before either one of my brothers. It doesn't matter what series it is, a win at Daytona is special." Since that time the middle Wallace brother has visited the 2.5-mile superspeedway in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series, the NASCAR Busch Series, Grand National Division and in ARCA, but not with the same results. He hopes to change that this year in his No. 2 Ultra Motorsports Ford when the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series makes its first visit to the "World Center of Racing." "Nothing would make a better start to this year then to win the first truck race of 2000 and the first one at Daytona," said the St. Louis native. "The guys built a brand new truck for this race and we had a really good test there in December." Wallace heads to Speedweeks with two strong positives in his corner -- a fast truck and a lucky hand. For the past two years, he's gone to Daytona simply as a spectator, but each of those years he's been asked to qualify a Winston Cup car. On each occasion, he has made the starting line-up. "I've been fortunate enough to have run at Daytona in a couple of different series, so I feel pretty good about this year's trip," Wallace said. "In January we went to Talladega (Ala.) instead of Daytona. That test went well too, and we were able to get more track time then if we had gone to Daytona in January with all of the other truck teams." Up to this point, Wallace has been a dark horse in whichever series he's competed in at Daytona, but this year could be very different. With two Craftsman Truck Series wins under his belt in 1999 and a sixth-place finish in the season ending point standings, Wallace is very confident about his chances when the trucks hit Daytona's high banks on Feb. 18. "I think we have a great shot at a pole and the win," Wallace said. "I've won here before and I know the draft. Not too many drivers in the Truck Series can say that." Another push for Wallace to win the first race of the 2000 season is the jumpstart it would have on his year. One of his two wins last year in the Truck Series came in the season-opening event at Homestead-Miami Speedway. "Daytona is a really cool place and I'm thrilled that they are finally letting the trucks run at Daytona. The media launch here is bigger then anywhere else we go to all season, and there is a lot more significance to winning at this track." It is every driver's dream to be on stage in Daytona's victory lane, and for Wallace, that dream has come true once already. The confidence he exudes about this February's trip could very well spell another trophy from the legendary oval, which suits him just fine. "My team and I plan to put out a concerted effort with the goal of winning," Wallace said. "I know everyone else will too. But we have experience on our side and I think we can do it. There is nothing I would like more then to be spraying champagne at about 1 p.m. on Friday afternoon. If everything falls into place just right, that's where we'll be."

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Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Ken Schrader , Mike Wallace