RWR QUALIFYING NOTES: STEVE WALLACE EARNS BEST CAREER ROAD COURSE START IN MEXICO CITY --Max Papis and Team 64 Put Both Rusty Wallace Racing Entries among Top-20 Fastest-- MEXICO CITY (April 19, 2008)--20-year old Team Atreus Homes ...
RWR QUALIFYING NOTES: STEVE WALLACE EARNS BEST CAREER ROAD COURSE START IN MEXICO CITY
--Max Papis and Team 64 Put Both Rusty Wallace Racing Entries among Top-20 Fastest--
MEXICO CITY (April 19, 2008)--20-year old Team Atreus Homes & Communities Rusty Wallace Racing driver, Steve Wallace earned his career best NASCAR road course start today in qualifying for tomorrow afternoon's NASCAR Corona Mexico 200 at the famed Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez in Mexico City, Mexico. In what was only his fourth career qualifying attempt of any kind on a road course, Wallace and his No. 66 Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS toured the 2.518-mile ex-Formula One circuit in 89.291 seconds (101.520 MPH). That lap was good enough for 12th fastest of the 47 cars entered in the event. Wallace's previous career best road course start of 16th came last year at Montreal, Canada's Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, another circuit with Formula One history.
Following the qualifying session, Wallace noted, "That was a good lap for our team. I don't really have a road racing background, so to be able to come out here and be that fast is really cool. With that said, no one remembers where you start, so we've to concentrate on staying on course in tomorrow's race and making sure that our Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS is there at the end. Back just a couple of years ago, when I was running short tracks, I never dreamed that I'd be running on a F1 track in Mexico with an Italian teammate that used to run in F1; this week has been a very fun experience for me and I'd really love to finish it out with a top-ten tomorrow."
Wallace's Italian teammate, Max Papis, will start 17th in tomorrow's 80-lap, 201.44-mile affair, following a best lap of 89.509 seconds (101.273 MPH) in his No. 64 Atreus Homes & Communities Chevrolet. After top-ten performances in both of Friday's practice sessions, many garage insiders considered Papis to be one of the true pole contenders in today's session. While the pole was not meant to be for Papis, the former Grand-Am champion remains confident in his chances for tomorrow's race.
"If I said that I was pleased with our performance today, I wouldn't be telling the truth. For some reason, our car was just really tight everywhere; I just couldn't get it to turn like I wanted. With that said, our Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS was really good in race trim during practice yesterday, so we should have a good result tomorrow. Now that we're starting further back, it will just be a little more difficult to get to the front. I still feel like we have as good of a chance as anyone to come out of here with a top-five or better tomorrow," said Papis.