When the checkered flag flew over the 1.5-mile oval of Texas Motor Speedway for Saturday night’s NASCAR Nationwide Series race, Mike Wallace and Danny Efland were 24th and 28thunder the lights.
When qualifying ended earlier in the day, Wallace and the No. 01 G&K Services Chevrolet team were 28th on the chart. Efland and the No. 4 Tradebank Chevrolet team were 42nd for the initial green flag.
Dusk falling over the Ft. Worth, Texas facility gave way to the roar of engines as all 43 teams set their sights on victory. After their practice and qualifying sessions, both teams of JD Motorsports w/Gary Keller knew they had some work ahead to achieve success during the race.
Like any team, both Wallace and Efland were looking to have great starts and then capitalize on that by using caution flags to hit pit road for adjustments, fuel and tires. They were assisted in the first 100 laps when three yellows slowed the pace of the race.
The first one, on lap 14, wasn’t that helpful as it was so close to the start. The second one, on lap 46, allowed both drivers to hit pit road for adjustments, tires and fuel.
Wallace was saying his car was loose as he coursed through the turns. So, they made adjustments to rectify that handling condition. When the race went back to green, Wallace was running 24th and Efland was 30th improving an impressive dozen positions since the race started. From there, both drivers would pretty much remain in their same spots as the laps ticked toward the halfway point.
At this point, Wallace said his car was even looser than before and called for adjustments accordingly for the next stop. And, that opportunity came on lap 154 when the caution waved allowing for pit stops. By this time, the field was spread out all around the track and had both drivers off the lead lap.
Wallace’s car was getting looser as the laps ticked down, so the team went back towards their original set-up to improve the handling. Because there were only two more cautions between lap 100 and the checkered flag at lap 200, the field would get strung out even more.
As a result, both Wallace and Efland would be trapped where they were with so few cars on their mutual laps. While the G&K Services Chevrolet finished 24th, Efland and the No. 4 Tradebank Chevrolet came across the Start/Finish line in 28th place.
Wallace remains 12th in the Driver’s Standings as the NNS heads to their second-last race of the year at Phoenix International Raceway.
Mike Wallace Quotes: “We were loose when we came off the truck; got it fixed up a little bit in practice and I thought we’d be pretty good after qualifying. But then the race started and the car seemed to get more and looser as the race went on there in Texas.
“As the track changed, our adjustments seemed to make the car go the other way. So, we put it back more towards what we started with near the end to help the handling.
“We were good on the longer runs, but the field was spread out so much that we couldn’t keep up with the leaders. As far as I’m concerned, we had a car that should’ve finished in or near the top-15 on Saturday night.”
JD Motorsports PR