Mike Wallace and the No. 01 Restaurant.com Chevrolet team were looking forward to a good race with a great finish at Darlington Raceway during Friday night’s NASCAR Nationwide Series race.
After starting 21st under the lights, Wallace started to do what he does best and get into a comfortable rhythm on the tricky, egg-shaped oval. An early caution slowed the pace right in the beginning with Wallace and the Newt Moore-led team running in the top-20 positions.
Choosing not to pit with so few laps into the race, there wasn’t much they could do in the way of adjustments that soon. So, when the race restarted on lap nine, they went back to setting a good pace to move forward on the scoring pylon.
The fate of their race changed when the “Lady in Black” reached out and cast her darkness on the No. 01 Restaurant.com team of JD Motorsports on lap 36.
As Wallace entered Turn 3, the right front tire went down sending his Chevrolet hard into the outside wall. In addition to bringing out the second caution of the night, it also forced the JD Motorsports team into repair mode as the car had to head into the garage for lengthy repairs.
While the race went on without them, the team was able to ready the car to return to action and complete 50 more laps. However, when the checkered flag finally waved after a Green/White/Checkered, Wallace was unfairly credited with a 30th-place finish.
He does, however, remain 13th in Driver Points tied with Brian Scott as the NASCAR Nationwide Series heads to Iowa Speedway for a Sunday, May 20 event.
Mike Wallace Quotes: “Well, that was typical for Darlington racing. We were pretty decent to qualify 21st and I was pleased with what the car was doing once the race started.
“But, you can prepare your car with every nut, bolt, part, piece and wire connected just right. The one thing you can’t plan for is when a tire goes down like it did on us during the race right there.
“The way this track is, that tire went down and I slapped the outside wall pretty darn good. There was enough damage to the car that we had to go behind the wall and make some repairs. The crew did a great job getting it fixed so we could gain a few positions and go to the end. I appreciated their efforts; I just wish we had a better finish to show for all their hard work.
“Iowa is next on our schedule. That’s a track I like racing and look forward to putting on a good show for everyone next Sunday out there.”
JD Motorsports PR