FLIPPING THE SWITCH: STEVE WALLACE SPEEDS TO SECOND CONSECUTIVE TOP-FIVE FINISH IN DARLINGTON --David Stremme Red-Hot with Fourth Straight Top-Ten, His Sixth in Last Seven Starts-- DARLINGTON, SC (May 9, 2008)--If there were any questions...
FLIPPING THE SWITCH: STEVE WALLACE SPEEDS TO SECOND CONSECUTIVE TOP-FIVE FINISH IN DARLINGTON
--David Stremme Red-Hot with Fourth Straight Top-Ten, His Sixth in Last Seven Starts--
DARLINGTON, SC (May 9, 2008)--If there were any questions as to whether or not Steve Wallace has truly arrived, they were answered Friday night in the Diamond Hill Plywood 200 at Darlington Raceway. There, the 20 year-old No. 66 Team Atreus Homes & Communities Rusty Wallace Racing driver overcame a hard practice crash to score his second straight NASCAR Nationwide Series top-five finish and his third top-ten in the last four races.
Wallace's fifth-place finish at the legendary "Lady in Black" was the best of any Nationwide Series regular for the second consecutive week. His performance elevated him four spots, to 11th, in the Nationwide Series driver standings--the highest ranking of his young career. The No. 66 team also gained five spots in the owner standings, to earn sole possession of the 16th position.
Noted Wallace, "Tonight was a great race for our Atreus Homes & Communities Chevrolet team. I got us in a hole by wrecking our primary car in practice, but my guys worked hard and our backup car was just as good. I had a little bit of a hard time figuring out the racetrack at first--I've only been here one time before tonight--but I knew once the race started, the pace would change and I'd have a good idea of what we needed.
"We really had a better-driving car than our finish showed--we had a car that could have been fast enough to finish second. We were faster than the 03 car and the 2 car, but when I got right behind them, my car just got too tight. I could get up enough momentum in three and four to get up next to them, but it just seemed like they had better power than we did, so they could pull us up off the corner pretty hard.
"With that said, I'm really excited about the way our day turned out. Our team has a lot of momentum heading into Charlotte. I can't thank my guys enough; Harold Holly has turned this whole team around. I really think that we're going to be knocking on the door of victory lane pretty soon."
Meanwhile, in the Team 64 camp, David Stremme remains red-hot following Friday night's event. He and his Dale Ferguson-led squad overcame race-long radio issues to score their seventh top-ten finish of the 2008 season. Stremme's sixth-place finish marked his fourth consecutive top-ten finish and his sixth top-ten in his last seven Nationwide Series starts. He and teammate, Steve Wallace, finished fifth and sixth for the second straight week.
Stremme's run allowed him to hold onto the tenth position in the Nationwide Series driver standings over Wallace, by a mere 28 points. The No. 64 team jumped two spots, to 11th, in the owner standings following Darlington. It trails 10th place by only 35 points and is now less than 100 points from 7th place.
Said Stremme, "Our Atreus Homes & Communities Chevrolet was pretty good tonight. We had a little trouble getting it to turn, but our biggest problems all day were our radios. Almost right at the beginning of the race, we developed a problem where I could hear my team and spotter, but they couldn't hear me. It was really frustrating because we could never get our car dialed in like we needed and it made it hard to figure out our pit strategy. If it weren't for the radio problem, I really think we could have had a car that had a shot to win.
"All in all, I can't complain about a top-ten at Darlington. This is a tough old racetrack and I'm glad that we were able to avoid the wrecks and bring our car home in one piece. Our team keeps building momentum as the year goes on and it's just a matter of time before we win one of these things."