An up-and-down week for the No. 01 Chevrolet team of JD Motorsports was capped off with a race that mirrored just that at Talladega Superspeedway in their NASCAR Nationwide Series event on Saturday afternoon.
The team’s week started with a fire that destroyed much of their race trailer on Sunday night. Later in the week, their new primary partner, Restaurant.com offered their help by donating a portion of their proceeds to help JD Motorsports in their time of trouble.
Their teammate, Danny Elfland, picked up a primary partner in Tradebank International, Inc. to also come on as an associate with the No. 01 team. Rain washed out practice on Thursday at Talladega, so the field was set per the NASCAR Rule book which determines the line-up via NNS Owner’s Points.
Then, it was time to race for 117 laps of action on the restrictor-plate track of Talladega.
Starting 19th, the No. 01 Restaurant.com Chevrolet didn’t waste any time showing what the driver, and car, were capable of for this race. By lap four, Wallace was up to fourth and would fluctuate between the top-10 and top-15 in the early going.
After a caution pit stop for fuel and tires on lap 31, he would return to action and then race his way into the top-five before taking the lead on lap 53. Another caution on lap 62 allowed crew chief Newt Moore to call Wallace down for tires and fuel on lap 64.
And, again, the St. Louis native found his way back into the top-five positions before a caution pit stop on lap 81 for tires and fuel placed him back into the top-20 for the restart. This strategy allowed the team to get enough fuel into their black No. 01 Chevrolet to complete the race, leaving Wallace free from fuel-conservation worries.
While running in the top-20, Wallace said the water temperature on his motor was rising. The team and driver didn’t feel safe going the distance, and opted to come down pit road to pump some cool water through the motor to ensure they would be around for the checkered flag.
After successfully completing the task on pit road under caution, the race restarted with four laps remaining. As the field exited Turn 2 and headed for the backstretch, another car came across the nose of Wallace’s Chevrolet causing left-front damage.
Wallace spun up into the outside wall with the rear bumer making heaving contact; whichh broke the car’s track bar. This deemed them out of the race and saddled them with a 28th-place finish.
Next week, the NNS heads to Darlington Raceway for a nighttime race on Friday, May 11 at the South Carolina track.
Mike Wallace Quote: “Man, this just about caps off our week with all that took place in the last few days. We had a great car, we were fast, we led and we ran up front. What more could a driver and team ask for at Talladega?
“It just seems like our series can put on a pretty good show, but we just can’t seem to get the last 10 laps completed at Talladega and Daytona. You’re watching out your windshield, you’re watching your gauges and you’re trying not to get caught up in someone else’s problem during this race.
“We were going from the middle to the front over and over today, so I know what we needed to do to be there at the end. After all we went through this week, you can’t say JD Motorsports is at team that lets thing affect them at the race track. I’d like to thank everyone who called and offered their help after the fire on Sunday; it is very much appreciated.”
JD Motorsports PR