Mike Wallace to mark milestone of 400th NASCAR Nationwide Series start on Friday
GAFFNEY, S.C. (July 5, 2011) – Mike Wallace will be walking a little taller this Friday at Kentucky Speedway just before the NASCAR Nationwide Series race starts.
When he climbs in the car and the command to start engines is heard, Wallace will make his 400th-career NASCAR Nationwide Series start. A trek that began in 1990 when he made his first series start at Martinsville Speedway driving the #40 Chevrolet for Marc Reno. This weekend, it will be the #01 Cowboys & Aliens movie Chevrolet, with GK Services on the car as an associate partner, with current owner Johnny Davis. This comes on the heels of the St. Louis native making his 700th overall NASCAR start just four races ago, as well.
In regards to the race at Kentucky, this will be his eight time taking the green at the 1.5-mile oval. In the past seven races there, his best start of 16th and finish of third both took place in 2008. He’s earned two top-five and two top-10 finishes, led nine laps and completed 95.percent (1335 of 1400) circuits contested. Last year, Wallace started 37th and finished 21st in this race.
Some quick facts regarding Wallace’s road to NNS start 400:
. Only seven of the 22 seasons in NNS have been full ones; and seven more had less than 10 starts.
. That first NNS start at Martinsville was a top-10 finish with him taking the checkered flag in sixth place after starting 24th in the Goodwrench/AC Delco 200.
. He’s led 750 laps and completed 81,820 miles of competition.
. Of his four wins, the first one took place at Dover in 1994. Finishing behind him, in order, were Terry Labonte, Mark Martin, Jimmy Spencer and Ricky Craven.
. Matter of fact, three of the wins took place that year with The Milwaukee Mile and Lucas Oil Raceway Park in Indy as the other two locations.
. His most recent win came at Daytona in July 2004.
. In addition to the wins, Wallace has achieved 22 top-five and 63 top-10 finishes.
. He’s been with his current team, JD Motorsports, since 2009
Mike Wallace Quotes
On making NNS start 400: “I was thinking about that the other day. What means the most to me is the longevity I’ve held in this sport of racing. It means I have done a decent enough job that someone has decided I was worth putting in their car to keep me racing. I think that’s something to be proud of, especially the way things are being done today.”
“When I won the NASCAR Winston Racing Series regional title at I-44 Speedway in 1990, I told everybody I was going to make a career of racing and do it full time. They all thought I was crazy, but that’s exactly what I did making that first start at Martinsville and finishing sixth.”
“My first win at Dover was even more special because of the four Cup superstars that finished behind me that day. I was pretty excited about that more than the win, I think. My last win in 2004 – at Daytona – was special just because of where it took place. That gave me an ARCA, Truck and Nationwide Series win at that track; that’s pretty special to me.”
“But, as you look at how things are today, I don’t know if you’re going to see too many more drivers make 400 starts in the Nationwide Series. I know mine took 22 years and I didn’t race every season, or this would have come much quicker. But, the way drivers move up to Cup now, the 400 starts is going to take someone driving in every race for 11 seasons to achieve.”
“I would like to thank my family, every fan, every track, every sponsor and every team owner who let me be part of this for 400 starts. I couldn’t have done this alone, and it means a great deal to me.”