Portland; Mike Wallace and team overcome problems

PORTLAND, OR (April 22, 2000) - If Mike Wallace goes on to win the 2000 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series championship, he can look back to Saturday's Line-X 225 at Portland International Raceway as a key event on the way to the title. ...

PORTLAND, OR (April 22, 2000) - If Mike Wallace goes on to win the 2000 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series championship, he can look back to Saturday's Line-X 225 at Portland International Raceway as a key event on the way to the title. Wallace and his #2 Team ASE Ford overcame a host of problems to finish fourth in the first road course event of the NCTS campaign. The solid effort by his Team ASE pit crew kept the St. Louis, MO driver atop the season point standings by 39 markers over race winner Andy Houston. "This was both a good day and a bad day, all in one," said Wallace. "We broke a sway bar early in the race, but had the chance to come in and get it fixed without losing a lap, so that was good. We managed to battle back and end up with a solid Top-5 finish and keep the points lead, so that was good too." Wallace shoved off fourth as the field tackled the tight, nine-turn Portland road course. Staying near the front of the pack in the early going, Wallace soon saw his day turn south when the sway bar problem hit his Ford F-150 truck. Fortunately, a rash of caution flags allowed his Team ASE mates the time to spring into action and fix the problem putting Wallace back into contention for the victory. The slam-bang affair got a little hairy for Wallace in the late stages of the race as the top trucks battled for the win. Wallace was right in the middle of the melee making contact with Kurt Busch just laps from the finish. "I got into the back of the #99 (Busch) and spun him," said Wallace. "I didn't mean to, I had some help from behind and just got into him. I really hate it because honestly, Kurt had a faster truck than we did today and deserved to finish better than he did (11th). He should have probably finished fourth and we should have finished fifth, but it was just one of those things. I hate it happened, but I can honestly say it wasn't intentional." Wallace was also on the other end of trouble early in the race when he spun and was clipped by Houston. Despite the problems, Wallace managed to turn what could have been a disastrous blow to his championship hopes into a day where he kept the points lead. Wallace collected $13,370 for the fourth-place effort and will now head home to St. Louis for the next NCTS event on the schedule - the Ram Tough 200 at Gateway International Speedway on Sunday, May 7. The race is the seventh of 24 on the 2000 slate and will be televised live on ESPN at 1:30 p.m. Eastern Time.

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Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Mike Wallace , Andy Houston , Kurt Busch