Wallace Garners First Top 10 of the Year in Mexico MEXICO CITY (March 6) -- The Stacker 2 Racing team's strategy for Sunday's race at Mexico City was simple: Do not worry about the other competitors; just compete against the track. The...
Wallace Garners First Top 10 of the Year in Mexico
MEXICO CITY (March 6) -- The Stacker 2 Racing team's strategy for Sunday's race at Mexico City was simple: Do not worry about the other competitors; just compete against the track. The strategy paid off, and Wallace was able to finish eighth in the first-ever NASCAR-sanctioned points race held outside of the U.S.
Wallace was in a hole after qualifying 35th on Saturday for the Busch Series Mexico 200. The hole quickly became more manageable because Wallace was 24th on the third lap around the 2.5-mile road course at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez. When the first of many caution periods began on lap eight of 80, the Stacker 2 Ford was pushing in the left turns, but was handling well in the right turns. Crew chief Wes Ward decided not to pit to enable Wallace to gain valuable track position. The strategy paid off when Wallace moved up to 15th on lap 11.
The next caution period began on lap 17, and Ward decided to bring Wallace in to make the necessary adjustments. Ward called for an air pressure adjustment to help improve the car's handling. Two pounds of pressure were put in both rear tires, and one pound was removed from the right front tire. Because of everyone's pit sequence, Wallace restarted in the 32nd position.
After those adjustments were made, Ward and spotter Keith Barnwell constantly reminded Wallace to make it around the course as quickly as possible instead of worrying about his competitors.
Wallace decided to pit again on lap 36 when the caution flag was displayed. The car was tight around the entire course and was starting to push. The Stacker 2 Ford received four tires and fuel. Wallace also turned his front brake two turns to the rear to fix the car's handling problems.
By the midpoint of the race, Wallace was 23rd, and the car was the best it had been all day. Due to the car's excellent handling, Wallace decided to make a fuel-only pit stop to gain track position on lap 45 while the race was under caution. Wallace was the first driver out of the pits and restarted in the ninth position. Ward decided that this would be the final pit stop of the day.
Wallace worked his way up to the sixth position before giving it up to Kevin Harvick to avoid hitting his brother Rusty Wallace.
Kenny Wallace shuffled between seventh and 10th for the remainder of the race. When Wallace crossed the finish line, he was eighth, his first top-10 finish of 2005.
"We would have liked to win, but eighth is a good run," Wallace said. "We were able to overcome a bad qualifying attempt, and I feel we got all we could out of the car."
This is the second top-13 finish for the Stacker 2 team in as many weeks, and it has helped Wallace advance to eighth in the drivers' standings.
"After the tire blowout we had in Daytona, it was very important for us to get back-to-back good runs, and we have been able to do that," Wallace said. "I am very proud of this team and excited about the momentum we have going into Vegas."
The next Busch Series race is at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Saturday, March 12, at 3:30 p.m. EST. The FX television network will broadcast the live television coverage of the Sam's Town 300.