RACE SUMMARY: Following an atypical qualifying effort for the Blueflame Authentics.com Dodge, Steve Wallace started the event from the 28th starting position. In his typical fashion however, Wallace began to make quick work of the field,...
Following an atypical qualifying effort for the Blueflame Authentics.com Dodge, Steve Wallace started the event from the 28th starting position. In his typical fashion however, Wallace began to make quick work of the field, climbing his way to as high as 12th in the first 70 laps of the event. Disaster struck on lap 79 of the event however, as Wallace and several other lead lap cars lapped the number 3 of Mark Whitaker.
Whitaker, who was previously lapped and was under the black flag of USAR officials, refused to yield the racing line to the leaders, as required by USAR regulations. When the lead lap cars managed to get under Whitaker on the front-straightaway, he abruptly turned hard left, directly into the side of Wallace's Dodge. The resulting contact sent Wallace airborne and nearly flipped the vehicle completely over before slamming violently into the inside retaining wall and nearly clearing it.
Wallace was uninjured and sources have rumored that USAR officials are considering imposing heavy sanctions on Whitaker, although no announcement has yet been made.
STEVE WALLACE, DRIVER:
"I'll tell you what; we just can't seem to get any luck at all. Our cars have been bad fast, but whether it's engine failures or crashes, we just can't seem to get the finishes put together. I messed up in qualifying a little bit, but we had a great car in the race. It seems like we picked up like 16 spots or something like that. Our car was really flying.
I'm not really sure what happened in the crash, there was this purple car that was way off the pace all day and he just wouldn't yield to the bottom like he was supposed to. We finally got underneath him on the frontstretch to lap him and he just turned 100% dead left into my door going down the straightaway. I have no clue what that guy was thinking. Not only did he destroy our car, but had it gotten over the pit wall and into the pits, which it almost did, we'd all be looking at a really horrible scenario right now.
He's supposedly had a lot of situations like this with other drivers in the past. The talk around the garage is that USAR is going to ban him for life from the series and I think that would be smart. This series is too competitive and the majority of the teams too good to have to deal with someone who has that kind of lack of respect for all of us.
We're not going to let this get us down, though. We're going to put this car back together and go right back after them at Peach State. Our team is really good and we're definitely not quitters. You're going to see us in Victory Lane soon; I'll promise you that."
Saturday, April 16th, 2005: Peach State Speedway, Jefferson, GA