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Mike Wallace Gets Truck Victory At Talladega

Info Manager | , RacinToday.com Saturday, October 22 2011

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Mike Wallace, with pushing help from fellow 53-year-old Ron Hornaday Jr., won the Coca-Cola 250 Camping World Truck Series race at Talladega Superspeedway on Saturday afternoon.

The two Kevin Harvick Inc. drivers hooked up early and stayed with each other in a superspeedway race which again was all about tandems.

Hornaday finished second.

James Buescher, who took a bite out of the series points lead of Austin Dillon, finished third.

Dillon was demoted to 18th position for not maintaining pace under the final caution of the race, but he recovered to finish seventh to stay ahead of Buescher in the standings.

The victory was the fifth in a truck for Wallace, who was substituting for Elliott Sadler, whose wife, Amanda, is expecting the couple’s second child.

Johnny Sauter’s championship hoptes suffered a major setback on Lap 35. He and ThorSport teammate Matt Crafton had dropped to the rear of the field to stay out of harm’s way early in the race, but the strategy backfired.

The two trucks crashed as they ran together in tandem, after Donnie Neuenberger’s Chevrolet blew a right-front tire in front of them. Sauter, who entered the race second in the standings and five points behind Dillon, lost two laps as his crew made repairs on pit road.

With a wave-around and a free pass, Sauter got back on the lead lap and finished 15th, lessening the damage to his title chances.

For Wallace, it may have saved him from sleeping in the doghouse as he passed on a anniversary trip with his wife to take the KHI ride.

“My wife has been saying for years that we never go anywhere on our anniversary,” Wallace said. “This is the exotic paradise island; the infield at Talladega. Here is your exotic weekend, honey.”

The  victory was the first since 2004 for the St. Louis native.

“I’ve been trying to keep from crying ever since I got out of the truck,” Wallace said. “Because a lot of people doubt you. They doubt your ability. An opportunity like this just proves that I can get it done.

“This is so big for somebody who kind of struggles in their career. This isn’t just a regular win. This is a big stage. This is Talladega. It means a lot. It’s very emotional, very rewarding.”

Info Manager | , RacinToday.com Saturday, October 22 2011
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