The Federated Auto Parts 300 began just after 7:00 PM ET Saturday evening and 19-year old Steve Wallace, the field's youngest driver, started the event from the pole. His lap of 29.753 seconds (161.288 MPH) was good enough for him to earn his...
The Federated Auto Parts 300 began just after 7:00 PM ET Saturday evening and 19-year old Steve Wallace, the field's youngest driver, started the event from the pole. His lap of 29.753 seconds (161.288 MPH) was good enough for him to earn his second career Busch Series pole and his second of the 2007 season. In doing so, Wallace emerged as a serious contender for the season-long pole award, becoming only the third driver to score multiple Busch Series poles this year, along with NEXTEL Cup drivers Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch.
Upon the start of the event, Wallace took a commanding 15 car length lead over No.2-Clint Bowyer and proceeded to lead the first six laps. Steve eventually settled in among the top-five, where he ran for much of the event, even well past the race's halfway point.
Throughout the race, the team fought a tight handling condition however, one which it was unable to completely cure. This condition had crew chief Bryant Frazier bring the No.66 Dodge to pit road during both of the race's final caution periods, which began on laps 137 and 154, respectively. Despite a pair of lightning-fast pit stops, the team's four-tire strategy on both stops would see Wallace lose track position to the other leaders and be outside of the top-ten for the race's final restart on lap 158. As the 68-lap run to the finish progressed, Wallace's tight condition became the worst it had been during the event and the teenager fell as far back as 15th position during the run.
Despite his frustration with the ill-handling condition, the young Wallace remained focused and climbed his way back to 12th place, where he ultimately finished. His finish was the team's best of 2007 and ties his second-best career finish overall, which ironically, also came at Nashville in the spring of 2006.
STEVE WALLACE, DRIVER, NO.66 HOMELIFE COMMUNITIES DODGE CHARGER: "All in all, this was a great weekend for our team. We had an incredibly fast race car for the beginning of a run all night, but it just fell off way too much after the first 20 laps of the run. It got really, really tight and we just couldn't ever get it fixed. I think we isolated what the problem was after the race though. After running in the top-five all night, I have to admit that I'm disappointed with 12th, but nonetheless, it was a solid finish for our team and it was fun to be so competitive all night long. This run gives us some good momentum to build on heading to Kentucky, which is another great track for us. I won the ARCA race there last year and I got my best Busch Series finish so far there last year as well. I really think we can put together a solid string of finishes in the next few weeks and get this team back running up front, where we know we should be."
RWI Racing developmental driver Chase Austin posted his second consecutive top-ten finish in the NASCAR Busch East Series Friday evening at Connecticut's Stafford Motor Speedway. The 17-year old wheelman started the 150-lap affair from the tenth position and finished the contest in the 8th spot. Chase and Team HomeLife Communities RWI Racing return to Busch East Series battle on Friday, June 29 at New Hampshire International Speedway in a companion event to the NASCAR Busch Series and NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series. Austin and his Steve Darne-led team are optimistic about the event, after unofficially posting the fastest time in race trim in the Busch East Series test at New Hampshire earlier this year.