Mike Wallace ready to take on new Daytona surface with some newness of his own
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (February 9, 2011) -- Mike Wallace knows what it takes to tackle the high-banked action at Daytona International Speedway, and he's proven it before with three trips to Victory Lane.
Now, the NASCAR Nationwide Series driver for JD Motorsports just needs to take that winning knowledge of the 2.5-mile superspeedway and apply it to the newly-paved surface, while driving a newly-designed race car, with a new crew chief and a newly-structured points system. For a veteran like Wallace -- that's no problem.
This year marks the third season Wallace will pilot the No. 01 Chevrolet for JD Motorsports. After pairing together for the past two seasons, owner Johnny Davis brought in winning-crew chief Brad Parrott to lead the team's on-track effort this season.
The new points system not only favors the fans by making it easier to add them up after a race, but the new NASCAR rule where a driver can only declare for championship points in one series favors that series' regulars.
All these changes were just fine with Wallace, who has won in three different series at Daytona.
Track Facts for Wallace: In 21 NNS starts at the Daytona, Wallace has completed 2,154 of 2,376 laps (90.7 percent) earning one victory, two top-fives and four top-10 finishes. He's also led 35 laps, with his victory coming in the 2004 July race by leading the only -- and most important -- one at the checkered flag. Wallace has also won a Camping World Truck Series (Feb. 2000) race and an ARCA event (1994) at Daytona.
Owner's Points Ease Pressure: By finishing 25th in the 2010 NNS Owner's Standings, Wallace won't have to worry about qualifying for the first five races as the top 30 are good to go already.
Car Facts: JD Motorsports is bringing down the same car they used in the June 2010 race at Michigan International Speedway. After four races with the new car last year, the NNS will utilize the car in all races this season.
About the new season and points system: "I am so ready for the 2011 season to start. We've been working on our cars in the shop and Brad Parrott has really done a great job in the short time he's been with us at JD Motorsports. The new points are easier to add up for everyone when the race is over and I like how it's structured. If you want to gain five more points, you have to pass five more cars, not two if you're running in the mid-pack or one if you're up front. By NASCAR making drivers declare for championship points in only one series, it gives teams like us a chance to have true Nationwide rankings. I like what they've done in that area.
Being in on Owner's Points: "Let me tell you something about that deal. We came here in 2009 having to qualify in on time. There's an enough pressure to start the season off right after working on your Daytona cars through a lot of the off season. To come down here and sweat it out to make the race is awful. Thank goodness we ended up where we did last year to know we're good to go for the first five this season. We just need to concentrate on racing, which is a good thing."
Key to Winning at Daytona: "I have been fortunate to win three races at Daytona. Each one is special because of the history of all the winners at this track. I feel we have just a good of a chance as anyone to get to Victory Lane here. That's one thing about the draft -- it's the great equalizer. Everyone I've talked to who tested here already said the track is incredibly smooth and has great grip. Aside from the draft, you just need to race smart and be there at the end when they wave the checkered flag. New track, new cars, new crew chief -- what more could a driver ask for to start a new season.
-source: jd motorsports