Wallace wins Coca Cola 250 for 1st victory since 2000
by LaVonte Young
Oct 23, 2011 | 1829 views |  0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
TALLADEGA — Mike Wallace found his way to Victory Lane for the first time since 2000 on Saturday at the Coca-Cola 250 Powered by Fred’s.

This was Wallace’s fifth win of his career in the Camping World Truck Series and his first win in the Truck series since 2000. Wallace drove the No. 33 Anderson’s Maple Syrup Chevrolet for Elliott Sadler, who’s wife is about to give birth. Car owner Kevin Harvick requested that Wallace fill in for Sadler.

“It is just not a win just to win a race this is an emotional win for me,” Wallace said. “It has been a while — 2004 was the last time I won a race. I got a call from (Harvick) last Sunday and I had his phone logged into my phone so I knew it was somebody from his phone calling. He said would you be interested, I’ll call you back on Monday and I was thinking call me back tonight please. I turned my phone and left it on because I normally turn it off. They call me on Monday and I went to the shop and sat in one of the seats. Thank God Elliot Sandler’s wife was going to have a baby that gave us the opportunity.”

The win for Wallace came on the weekend of his 32nd wedding anniversary.

“My wife has been on us for years that we never go anywhere for our anniversary,” Wallace said. “The joke was when Kevin called I told her what the opportunity was and she said exotic paradise island. The infield of the Talladega and I said it will be exotic. It was great.”

Wallace used the push of Harvick Motorsports teammate and second place finisher Ron Hornaday to lead 54 of the 94 laps of the race. With the second place finish Hornaday moved up to fourth in the points standings.

Pole winner James Buscher finished third and moved into second place behind Austin Dillon for the points lead.

“It was definitely an exciting race,” Buscher said. “Our Bad Boy Chevy was fast from the time we unloaded. I got to start on the pole earlier today. Having that No. 1 pit selection played into our hands a lot. Any time I came in the pits fifth or better we would come out the pits with the lead. I lost track position on pit road one time, I messed up in the pit and that was the first time I had to locked with the two truck tandem with the 62 truck and he pushed up to the front and got all our track position right back right away. We were able to run in the top five, top 10 all day long and I have to thank Rickey Carmichael for pushing me at the end. I told him to push me all the way through the years and we are going to the top when we get to turn one. He did and we drove past the field. I thought we could get the No. 2 and No. 33 at the end, but we didn’t have enough to get to them.”

Brendan Gaughan finished eighth. Kyle Busch finished ninth in his 100th truck race and Max Papis finished 10th.

Rickey Carmichael finished fourth, Jason White came in fifth, and Todd Bodine finished sixth. Point’s leader Austin Dillon worked with Kyle Busch most of the race, and seemed poised to make a run at Wallace in the closing laps.

But a caution slowed the action, racing resumed with seven laps to go but the yellow flag came right back out for debris.

Dillon was then flagged for failing to maintain reasonable speed, and had to drop back to 17th on the restart that came with two laps remaining. Dillon finished seventh, Brendan Gaughan finished eighth, Kyle Busch finished ninth in his 100th truck race and Max Papis finished 10th.

Alabama native Grant Enfinger finished 12th.

The Big One didn’t happen in the two-truck tandem racing on Saturday. There were six cautions for 27 laps.

Harvick leads in the owner standings by 81 points with three races left. This is Harvick’s last season having a team in the Camping World Series.

“I don’t know that I’ve ever had as much fun in Victory Lane,” Harvick said. “To see the emotion and excitement from Mike, that is one of the most rewarding things you can ever ask for as a person. It was a lot of fun.”