BUSCH: Las Vegas: Steve Wallace race notes

Event Recap: * Before a crowd estimated at 110,000 and a live national network television audience on ESPN on ABC, Steve Wallace and the No. 66 Wizetrade team started the Sam's Town 300 from the 10th position, as several cars were moved to the...

Event Recap:

* Before a crowd estimated at 110,000 and a live national network television audience on ESPN on ABC, Steve Wallace and the No. 66 Wizetrade team started the Sam's Town 300 from the 10th position, as several cars were moved to the rear of the field due to various rule infractions.

* By the race's second caution period on lap 14, Wallace had guided the No. 66 well into the top-10 and found himself in sixth position. He reported that his Dodge was handling well. Following a pit stop that saw the team take on fuel only, the Wizetrade Dodge was in 9th position for the lap 21 restart.

* Following the restart, Wallace held his own against the field, despite an ill-handling condition that was beginning to appear. He would be in the 13th position when the caution flew again on lap 50. Under this caution period, the Wizetrade RWI Racing team ordered Wallace to pit road for the team's second stop of the day and its first tire change of the race. The team installed four Goodyear racing radials and filled the car with fuel during this stop.

* The field returned to racing on lap 55 and by lap 58, the tire woes that had struck most of the field also struck the No. 66 team. By merely changing a set of tires, Wallace reported that the car had gone from handling well to having such a severe "loose" condition that the car was almost "undrivable." Like many others in the field, Wallace stated that due to the tire and track issues, "It's all I can do just not to wreck."

* The caution flew once again on lap 60 and following the lap 63 restart, Wallace stated that his car was "way better" after the tires had cooled. That condition would not last for long however, as the "loose" condition only worsened and forced Wallace to make several miraculous saves in order to avoid spinning the car.

* The adverse conditions continued to affect the No. 66 for most of the day. By the team's green flag pit stop on lap 100, the leaders were beginning to approach Wallace to put him a lap down. Unfortunately, following the stop, the No. 66 team was issued a "pass-through" penalty by NASCAR, for an alleged commitment line violation. The penalty saw Wallace fall two laps down to the leaders, where he would remain for the remainder of the event. Following the penalty, Wallace found himself in the 33rd position, his lowest running position of the race.

* Despite the penalty, Steve Wallace and the Wizetrade team continued to battle and the event saw Wallace put in one of the "gutsiest" performances of his fledgling career. Against incredibly adverse conditions that caused eleven Nextel Cup veterans such as Kasey Kahne, Greg Biffle and Matt Kenseth to fall victim to accidents, Wallace manhandled his Dodge through the field. The Wizetrade Dodge Charger became one of the fastest cars in the field by race's end and the third-generation driver managed to gain 16 positions, to pick up his second consecutive top-20 finish.

Miscellaneous Notes:

* With today's finish, Steve Wallace moved into sole possession of a top-15 position in the NASCAR Busch Series standings for the first time in his young career. Coming into Las Vegas, he was tied for 15th position in the standings.

* According to NASCAR loop data statistics, Wallace and the No. 66 Wizetrade Dodge were ranked among the top-15 teams in the following race statistics: closers, fastest drivers early in a run, fastest drivers by straightaway (frontstretch, backstretch), fastest drivers by turn number (one, two, three, four), fastest drivers on restarts and green flag speed.

* Wallace's highest running position was sixth, his lowest was 33rd.

* The No. 66 Dodge spent 69 laps in the top-15 during the event.

* Wallace made 35 green flag passes in the race. These most commonly took place on the frontstretch (16 passes, 45.7%).


Steve Wallace, Driver: "Man, today was definitely frustrating, but we managed to make a solid points day out of it. I'm really proud of all of the guys on our Wizetrade team for hanging in there today. I got us a little behind with the pit road penalty, but there just wasn't a lot I could do about it. There was simply no grip out there today. Like I've said before, Goodyear is a great company and their tires are normally really good, but they definitely messed up big time today. The tires were horrible. It was like driving on ice every single lap. The tires were so hard; the rear end of my car was bouncing up and down so hard that it felt like I was riding on basketballs. I mean, you don't have guys like Kasey Kahne just spin out all by themselves if there's not something wrong. I'm sure Goodyear realizes that they have a problem though, so hopefully they'll get it fixed for the next time around. The same goes for the racetrack. Unfortunately, the comments that Tony (Stewart) and a lot of other guys had are true. I'm not sure what happened, but the new paving job on this racetrack is not very good at all. It's super rough. That, plus the tire problems, definitely made things really hairy out there today. Like I said though, I'm really proud of our guys for hanging in there today. At the end of the race, Bryant (Frazier) made the call to put our first set of tires back on the car and our Wizetrade Dodge Charger was the best it had been all day. We actually ran our fastest laps of the day on 20-lap scuffed tires, believe it or not."

Bryant Frazier, Crew Chief: "Today was challenging for sure, but Steve really showed a lot of maturity in handling the situation. You saw a ton of the Nextel Cup guys wrecking left and right, but Steve managed to hang in there and hold on to our Wizetrade Dodge in some incredibly adverse conditions. Of course, you always want to finish better than you actually did, but Steve didn't put a scratch on the car and we had a good points day. We'll take it and move on to Atlanta, where we're looking forward to having another solid run and closing in on the top-10 in the standings."

-credit: rwi

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Drivers Matt Kenseth , Greg Biffle , Kasey Kahne , Steve Wallace