NCWTS: Mike Wallace Goes Back To Victory Lane In Talladega

October 22, 2011 No Comments

Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images

After a strange race in which we saw rivals drafting, crew chiefs sharing a pit box and teammates wrecking, it was none other than Mike Wallace taking the win in Saturday’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Talladega. Wallace, who was called upon to drive the #33 for Kevin Harvick Incorporated after Elliot Sadler opted out, showed why he is one of the premier plate racers in all of NASCAR.

Working with KHI teammate, Ron Hornaday Jr., the KHI duo dominated the Coca-Cola 250 at Talladega Superspeedway. Jumping out front right away in the 94 lap race, Hornaday and Wallace showed that they had the ‘two truck tandem’ down to a science while the rest of the pack learned how to keep up.

“”Nobody knows how much this means to me.” an excited Wallace said in victory lane. “I’m so gratified a team like KHI would give me this opportunity.”

Wallace also declared Hornaday and himself as the “oldest tandem EVER!”

It was the fifth NASCAR Camping World Truck Series win for the middle Wallace brother,first since Bakersfield in 2000. It was also the first win in a  NASCAR national touring series since his Nationwide Victory at Daytona in July of 2004.

While the KHI team found great success Saturday in Talladega, Thor Sport Racing nearly found disaster.

Falling back to ride out the race until ‘go time’, teammates Johnny Sauter and Matt Crafton were minding there own business until the truck in front of them, the #16 of Donnie Neuenberger, blew a tire and collected the teammates after the could not slow up in enough time to avoid the crash.

While the day and any hope at the championship was dashed for Crafton, Sauter and team did not want to find themselves in that same position.

Working furiously on the #13, Sauter’s crew was able to get their mangled, but not destroyed, truck back out onto the high banks. Sauter was able to snag the ‘lucky dog’ after the final caution in the remaining laps of the event.

Ultimatley, Sauter was able to salvage a 15th place finish after what appeared to be a lost day for the team.

While Sauter suffered problems early, his title rival and points leader, Austin Dillon, found his trouble towards the end of the 94 lap event.

Being told to save fuel in order to make it to the finish, Dillon’s truck slowed for a brief moment under caution, allowing trucks to pass his #3. NASCAR then ordered Dillon to fall in line behind the #20 of Johanna Long after they determined he failed to maintain minimum speed under the caution flag.

Dillon was able to get his truck back up to the seventh position and maintain his points lead, but was none to pleased about NASCAR’s ruling.

“I want to see where we lost all those positions,” said Dillon. “I’ll be sure to find out from NASCAR about this.”

The ‘other’ championship contender, James Buescher, had a somewhat quiet day compared to his title rivals. Buescher ran in the top ten for the majority of the 250 miles on the Alabama oval, putting himself in position for an attempt at victory when push came to shove.

With help from teammate Ricky Carmichael, Buescher appeared as though he was going to slingshot by the KHI teammates to claim his first career NASCAR victory. But it was not meant to be. Buescher came home in the third position, but now only sits three points back of championship leader Austin Dillon.

Results of the Coca-Cola 250 at Talladega powered by Fred’s 

  1. Mike Wallace
  2. Ron Hornaday Jr.
  3. James Buescher
  4. Ricky Carmichael
  5. Jason White
  6. Todd Bodine
  7. Austin Dillon
  8. Brendan Gaughan
  9. Kyle Busch
  10. Max Papis
  11. Justin Lofton
  12. Grand Enfinger
  13. Josh Richards
  14. Cole Whitt
  15. Johnny Sauter
  16. Johanna Long
  17. Dakoda Armstrong
  18. Miguel Paludo
  19. Blake Feese
  20. Joey Coulter
  21. Ryan Sieg
  22. Ryan Hacket
  23. Timothy Peters
  24. Wes Burton
  25. Chris Fontaine
  26. Nelson Piquet Jr.
  27. BJ McLeod
  28. Parker Kligerman
  29. Jamie Dick
  30. David Starr
  31. Matt Crafton
  32. Donnie Neuenberger
  33. Butch Miller
  34. Jeffery Earnhardt
  35. Patrick Sheltra
  36. JJ Yeley
Coverage

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