First-lap crash sidelines Wallace

Mike Wallace’s Watkins Glen International race was practically over before it began.

Wallace was collected in a wicked first-lap crash Saturday in the Zippo 200 at The Glen, and the JD Motorsports with Gary Keller Chevrolet was so badly damaged that he could not continue in the race. He finished 40th and was the only driver to park because of involvement in a race accident.

Wallace said it marked the first time in his career he had crashed out of a race in the first turn of the first lap.

Kyle Busch, one of the race favorites, lost control of his car in a pack of traffic in turn one a few seconds after the start of the race. He bounced off the wall and into the path of Wallace, who had turned to the right to avoid contact with a slower car as traffic bunched up in the turn.

 “I tried to miss one wreck and got in another one,” Wallace said. “There was just nothing else to do and nowhere to go. It’s tough, but it’s one of those things that happens. We couldn’t get it fixed and back out.”

Wallace slammed into Busch with the right front of his car, causing extensive damage to the 01 Chevrolet. Busch’s car also had significant damage, but he returned to the track and finished 24th, five laps down.

JD Motorsports PR