CHARLOTTE, N.C., (May 2, 2000) -- The NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series headed to Portland (Ore.) Raceway for the April 23 Line-X 225K prepped with rain tires and windshield wipers in anticipation of the passing showers that frequent the Northwest.
CHARLOTTE, N.C., (May 2, 2000) -- The NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series headed to Portland (Ore.) Raceway for the April 23 Line-X 225K prepped with rain tires and windshield wipers in anticipation of the passing showers that frequent the Northwest. But neither of those accessories were needed, as the rains held off long enough for Mike Wallace and the No. 2 Team ASE/Ultra Motorsports Ford to pick up a strong fourth-place finish.
The team overcame an obstacle early on when a spin entering turn one broke the front sway bar. The Ultra Bad Boys sprung into action, correcting the problem, getting truck and driver back in the hunt. Wallace found himself mired deep in the field, but quickly charged through the competition, earning his fifth top-five finish in six races.
"All in all it was a pretty good day," said Wallace. "We broke a sway bar in that incident early in the race and I though that it was going to be a miserable day. But the guys did a great job of rallying back and getting it fixed. We also had great pit strategy that worked to our advantage, and we did what we had to do. When you're having a bad day, all you can do is try and salvage as many points as you can."
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For St. Louis native Mike Wallace, traveling to Gateway International Raceway in Madison, Ill., is like going home. The 1.25-mile oval is just across the river from his hometown, and a win en route to the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series championship would be extra special with a strong contingent of Wallace fans in the grandstands.
"I have a lot of family and friends that will be there this weekend," said Wallace. "Plus, I'm bringing my middle daughter Chrissy and my son Matt with me. It'll be a reunion of sorts."
While the weekend may feel like a reunion, the majority of Wallace's time will be consumed by work.
"It's a unique race track," Wallace said. "It's the only 1.25-mile track on the circuit. It's egg-shaped with tight turns, which makes it quite a challenge to race on. We have to downshift in (turn) one and upshift on the backstretch, which is similar to racing at Pocono (Pa.)."
The team travels to the Midwest with momentum and some pretty impressive statistics on their side. Wallace and Team ASE have finished all of the laps in each of the six events, along with leading the most laps of any other Truck Series competitor at 149, which has brought the team to over $200,000 in winnings.
"The guys are working really hard every week to bring the best truck they can to the track," Wallace said. "They took this truck to the wind tunnel last week, and we're going to test it at Greenville (S.C.) before we head to St. Louis."
Wallace still holds the point lead after the event at the Portland (Ore.) International Raceway, with Andy Houston bringing up a close second.
<pre> Mike Wallace's Gateway Performance Profile Year Event St Fn Status/Laps Earnings 1999 NCTS Ram Tough 200 15 5 160/Running $17,875 1998 NCTS Ram Tough 200 19 8 160/Running $9,450