Mile Wallace heads to Michigan

BROOKLYN, MI (July 17, 2000) - Driving your family vehicle at 70 miles per hour on a five-lane interstate highway in rush hour traffic can get pretty hairy at times. Now imagine adding 100 miles per hour to that speed, and you'll know...

BROOKLYN, MI (July 17, 2000) - Driving your family vehicle at 70 miles per hour on a five-lane interstate highway in rush hour traffic can get pretty hairy at times. Now imagine adding 100 miles per hour to that speed, and you'll know what it's like to drive in a NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race at Michigan International Speedway. "Michigan is very conductive to high speed three- and four-wide racing," said Mike Wallace, driver of the #2 Team ASE Ford in NCTS competition this season. "It's a very, very fast place. From the start/finish line, you can drive pretty far down into Turns 1-2. You can drive way down into the corner because you have some nice banking there. Off the corner, you come onto an almost perfectly flat back straight. The problem at Michigan comes when you drive into Turn 3. You look at it and wonder what the heck happened to the banking because it looks real flat. It just doesn't look like there's any banking at all. I'm not saying it's an illusion, but it seems like you're going way to fast to get into Turn 3.You check up and try to get the truck turned before you roll back into the gas. Off the Turn 4, you head onto the big, sweeping straight away. You see a lot of passing there because your truck is set and everyone is trying to accelerate into a different line. It's a wide open dash back to the first turn and that can get pretty exciting." Keeping everything headed in the right direction, especially on the Turn 3 "off ramp", will be the challenge for Wallace and his Team ASE mates when they take on the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Michigan 200 Saturday, July 22. The 200-mile test on the two-mile MIS superspeedway oval should be one of the most exciting Truck Series events of the year as drivers will have to utilize the "draft" to work their way to the front of the pack. According to Wallace, one of the more experienced drivers on the tour when it comes to the technique of drafting or managing the air, running close at more than 170 mph and staying out of trouble will be the key to a top finish. "I'd like to think I have an advantage drafting but I really don't," said Wallace. "These guys in the Truck Series have picked up on it pretty quick. If experience has shown me anything, it's that a lot of guys will get in trouble because they don't understand the air. They want to run on the outside and jam another truck to the bottom or they don't give any room to the guy on the bottom so air doesn't get to his spoiler. Then the guy on the bottom gets loose and gets up into you. I think I'm smart and experienced enough to not get myself into those situations. In the end, the key thing is the truck has to have big horsepower and it has to drive though the corner. If it can do that and drive smart, you're going to run good." Last year, Wallace steered his Team ASE mount from the 18th starting position to the lead by the midway point of the 200 at Michigan. The St Louis, MO native kept his bright orange, blue and white Ford F-150 in the top spot for a dozen laps before settling back into the Top-10, saving his truck for a run at the victory over the final laps. "We were pretty high up in the field, eighth or ninth in the late going, and then a bunch of us went down into Turn 1 four-wide and I almost got taken out of the race," Wallace stated. "I did a long, big slide for life and somehow managed to save the truck. Unfortunately, that put us back in the field and because it was late in the race, we never really recovered from that." Wallace was officially credited with a 12th-place finish in last year's Michigan event. This time around in the Michigan 200, Wallace would like nothing better than to repeat the superspeedway win he scored at Daytona International Speedway and the top finished his Team ASE Ford registered at Texas (second) and Kentucky (third) earlier this season. "We should run well at Michigan," said Wallace. "We ran well at Texas and Kentucky earlier this year and both those tracks are a lot like Michigan. We have a great speedway truck and we have a very solid motor program. They guys at Penske Engines have put in a big effort to try to get us a little more horsepower to go to Michigan with. They're trying to help us run better and I think it'll all add up to another solid run for us." The NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Michigan 200 will take the green flag at 1:30 p.m. Saturday, July 22. The 17th of 24 events on the 2000 NCTS tour will be telecast live by ESPN and broadcast as it happens by MRN radio.

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Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Mike Wallace