Late Race Incident Relegates Wallace to a 29th-Place Finish

The 2012 NASCAR Nationwide Series started with a bang Saturday in the DRIVE4COPD 300 at Daytona International Speedway. Though a late-race incident relegated Wallace to a 29th-place finish, the No. 09 Family Farmers Toyota Camry led its first lap of the season and spent the majority of the day racing inside of the Top 10.

Sporting the black and green paint scheme of Family Farmers, Wallace posted a 26th-place qualifying effort on Friday. The 47-year-old veteran hailing from St. Louis, Missouri, took the green flag Saturday for the first Nationwide Series race of the 2012 season.  By lap 20, Wallace had piloted the No. 09 into the Top 10.

Wallace proved Saturday that RAB Racing’s equipment was fast, whether pack-racing or utilizing the two-car tandem. He found a drafting partner in brother Mike Wallace midrace, and the pair contended with the leaders.

Crew chief Scott Zipadelli made the call for Wallace to remain on track during a late-race caution, which put the No. 09 on the front row for the restart. Strong even without the two-car draft, Wallace pulled out in front of the field, leading his first lap of the season and picking up the bonus point.

As is often the case at restrictor plate tracks, pack racing led to numerous incidents throughout the race. Though able to navigate through many in the early laps of the event, Wallace fell victim to a 19-car pileup on Lap 105, ending the day for the RAB Racing team. “I expected to see more two-car tandem racing today, but I’m going to tell you what – we had an awesome race out there today,” said Wallace. “We were side-by-side, door handle-to-door handle. It looked like Joey Logano and the 60 (Trevor Bayne) got together at the front of the pack, from what I’ve seen on the replay. It looks like something happened with those guys, and that’s what triggered the wreck that ultimately took us out. It’s unfortunate, it certainly isn’t the way that we wanted to kick off our season, but everyone at RAB Racing worked hard to give us a strong Family Farmers Toyota Camry, and I think that showed. We’ll head to Phoenix next weekend and hope for a better finish.”