NASCAR Trucks: Wallace subs, then wins
TALLADEGA, Ala. ó Mike Wallace proved to be a suitable substitute for Elliott Sadler at Talladega Superspeedway on Saturday, racing to his first Truck Series victory since 2000.
Wallace was pushed to the win by Ron Hornaday Jr. as the trucks finally figured out the two-car tandem draft that drivers have used this season in the Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series races at Daytona and Talladega, the two fastest tracks.
Wallace was making just his second start of the season. He was called last week when Sadler pulled out of the race to stay home with his wife as they await the birth of their second child. Wallace said the plan to work with Hornaday for the entire race was hatched immediately.
ěThis is an incredibly unselfish individual because he could have worked for the win,î Wallace said as he hugged Hornaday in Victory Lane. ěThank God Elliott Sadlerís wife is going to have a baby and gave me this opportunity.î
Wallace now has five career wins in the Truck Series, but hasnít run a full season since 2000. His last win in any race was in 2004 in the Nationwide Series.
Running this weekend meant Wallace had to bring his wife to Talladega on what was supposed to be a celebration of their 32nd wedding anniversary. Team owner Harvick joked after the win that Wallace could borrow his golf cart and take his wife into the infamous Talladega infield to celebrate.
ěItís been so long since I won a race, and nobody knows how much this means to me,î Wallace said.
Wallace led eight times for a race-high 54 laps, but needed every bit of help from Hornaday, who finished second. James Buescher finished third and sliced his deficit in the championship race to three points behind Austin Dillon.
Ricky Carmichael was fourth and followed by Jason White, Todd Bodine and Dillon. Brendan Gaughan, Kyle Busch and Max Papis rounded out the top 10.