DOVER, Del. (September 29, 2012) – Mike Wallace and the unsponsored No. 01 Chevrolet team went to Dover International Speedway in search of concrete results. What they got, instead, was a fast-paced race on the one-mile, concrete oval track that prevented them from gaining positions during the event where only three caution flags slowed the action.
There was only one practice session for the NNS teams at the Monster Mile, which took place on Friday afternoon. When the two-hour practice ended, Wallace was 32nd on the chart and his teammate, Brad Teague, was 45th in the No. 4 Tradebank Chevrolet.
Qualifying was held at Noon (ET) on Saturday and Wallace laid down a lap to place him 29th in Row 15, and Teague lined up 41st for the initial green flag. The 200-lap race started later in the day and Wallace went to work and picked up five positions in the first 20 circuits around the concrete oval.
Within the next 10 laps, Wallace would fall off the lead lap as he continued to run his own race. From there, it was the race-within-the-race to stay as close to the leaders as possible to take advantage of the Lucky Dog.
The first caution would wave on lap 45 with only 19 cars on the lead lap. Unfortunately, Wallace wasn’t able to take advantage of the caution and return to lead-lap action. But, the pit stop they made allowed for tires, fuel and adjustments for a very loose handling unsponsored No. 01 Chevrolet.
By the halfway point, Wallace was running 23rd as the fourth car one lap down and looking for every bit of racing room around the ever-changing track. Another caution on lap 116 allowed for another stop for adjustments, tires and fuel.
The restart on lap 124 had the red No. 01 Chevrolet in 21st place, but as one of seven cars two laps down to the leaders. The third caution with 24 laps remaining brought the field together to close up the competitors.
Wallace was again a victim of the long green-flag runs as he was trapped laps down to the leaders and couldn’t capitalize to gain positions. So, with the restart coming when 19 laps were remaining, he did his best to hang on until the end and get the best possible finish.
At lap 200, the checkered flags waved and the No. 01 HELPJD01.com Chevrolet finished the fast-paced race in 21st place, the first of seven cars three laps down to the leaders. The good part is Wallace retains his 12th place standing in the Driver’s Points totals.
Brad Teague finished in 28th place in the No. 4 Tradebank Chevrolet.
Next weekend, the NNS will take its final break of the season before heading to Charlotte Motor Speedway to race under the lights on Saturday, October 13.
Mike Wallace Quotes: “We didn’t do ourselves any favors by battling a loose car in practice on Friday, but we did figure out how to make it better by making some changes for the race. Once it started, we still had a loose condition, but we were able to make adjustments on the first stop.
“The problem was the race was going so fast we were already a lap down by the time we made it to that first stop. From there, we were holding our own and trying to stay as close to the lap cars as possible to, hopefully, capitalize.
“But, there weren’t enough cautions and we ended up begin stuck where we were there at the end. We should’ve had a better finish, but we’ll take bringing the car back in one piece and use this upcoming off-weekend to get ready for Charlotte in two weeks.”