The Frontstretch: Frontstretch Breakdown: Wallace Brothers 250 Busch Series race by Nikki Krone -- Tuesday August 2, 2005

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In A Nutshell:  His performance wasn’t as dominate as in his first series victory, but Reed Sorenson led the most laps and was strongest when it counted, earning his second win of the season.  Sorenson, Martin Truex Jr. and David Stremme were definitely the class of the field, but problems struck both Truex Jr. (two green flag pit stops, one for a flat tire and one for a loose lug nut) and Stremme (blown tire with eight laps to go) while Sorenson was almost flawless.  When all was said and done, Sorenson crossed the checkered flag .710 seconds ahead of Mike Wallace, Carl Edwards, David Green, and Paul Menard.

The “Wallace Brothers 250” was named in honor of St. Louis natives Rusty, Mike and Kenny Wallace, but the race itself was only good to one Wallace brother.  Kenny Wallace was moving steadily through the field before an incident involving Michael Waltrip, basically put the younger Wallace and his No. 22 Whelen’s Ford out of contention. Oldest brother Rusty Wallace was also having a strong run and led the race for a time before a decision to stay out to gain track position bit him in the butt.  Soon he began falling back through the field before being bumped by Jon Wood, which sent Rusty into the outside wall and then into the garage.  However, not all the news was bad for the Wallace brothers, as Mike Wallace, driving the No. 6 for Evernham Motorsports, was steady and strong for most of the night.  With a handful of laps to go, Wallace found himself in second and earned the best finish of the Wallace brothers.

Who Should Have Won:   David Stremme.  Stremme has had a great car several times this year, and this was probably his strongest run yet in 2005.  It was obvious from the drop of the green flag that the man in the No. 14 Navy Dodge was on a mission, as he passed cars with ease and drove out to a solid lead when he was at the front of the field.  As the laps were winding, an apparent poor pit stop put him behind the cars of Martin Truex Jr. and Reed Sorenson, along with a few others.  However, Stremme was able to move towards the front yet again, although unable to reclaim the top spot.  In the end, Stremme and the FitzBradshaw team were once again bitten with bad luck as Stremme blew a tire with eight laps to go, ending his bid for his first victory in the Busch Series.

Three Questions You Should Be Asking After the Race Weekend:

1)  When will FitzBradshaw Racing get some good luck?  It’s been a heck of a season for the two, sometimes three car team.  When Fedewa was in the No. 12, he always happened to be involved in an accident and it was usually not his fault.  As for David Stremme, several times he has had a strong car capable of winning, only to suffer from parts failure, blown tires, or being in the wrong place at the wrong time.  The team has shown that they are dedicated and capable of winning.  Now when will they get the luck they need to do so?

2)  Do the Cup Series guys need to wreck so much when they “Buschwack”?  It has been noticeable in many events, but particularly this one — since it’s the most recent.  If you will remember, the two biggest wrecks of the evening were the spin and splat of Rusty Wallace and the spin of Michael Waltrip, which ended Kenny Wallace’s chances of a great run (and a chance to gain some points ground on Truex).  It seems too often that the ones causing the wrecks in the Busch Series races are the Cup drivers who are being overly aggressive.  Plenty of Busch drivers have expressed their unhappiness at Cup guys coming in and having no respect for the Busch drivers and pushing them around.  Maybe they have a point?

3)  What happened to Martin Truex Jr.’s pit crew?  The usually flawless No. 8 crew seemed to panic towards the end of the race and rushed Truex Jr. off of pit road without all the lug nuts tight, forcing Truex to come back in.  Did they not remember who drives their car?  With approximately 47 laps to go, Truex Jr. had plenty of time to make his way up to the front on his own.  I would think the crew got quite the lecture!

Worth Noting/Points Shuffle:

Martin Truex Jr.’s lead has been cut from 122 to just 70 over second place Clint Bowyer and 84 over race winner Sorenson.

Most of the top-10 remained the same; however, David Green continues his climb, moving up two more spots to seventh.  He is now 609 behind the leader and 210 points behind sixth.

Sorenson and Carl Edwards are tied for the lead with 283 points in the Raybestos Rookie standings in the first tie for the lead in the standings since the program debuted in 1989.
Mike Wallace’s second place finish was his best since his victory in Daytona in July of 2004.

After earning only one top-10 in the previous 20 races, David Green has earned two consecutive top-five finishes with his win a week ago at Pikes Peak and his fourth place performance at Gateway.

Sterling Marlin finished 12th in his first race behind the wheel of the No. 12 FitzBradshaw Dodge (taking over for Tim Fedewa), giving the team it’s best finish of the season and only it’s third top-15 of the year.

Brandon Miller, driving the No. 21 Reese’s Chevrolet for Richard Childress Racing, earned his best finish of the year with a sixth place run (his second top-10 in a row).

After losing their sponsor, Stacker 2, a few weeks ago, Kenny Wallace and ppc Racing announced this weekend that Auto Zone would be the primary sponsor on the No. 22 Ford for the remainder of the season.

Quotable:

“I tell you what, if I would have lost that race after that caution I would have been sick that’s for sure – and probably literally. I did not want to see that caution. I was nervous." – Reed Sorenson

"They asked me if I was still there because I went three laps under caution and didn’t say a word. I was hoping we could get through the first couple of turns and maybe we could win if we got through that and we did.” – Reed Sorenson

“I just don’t understand what happened there at the end. I guess our tire had been slowly going down and I noticed it was completely flat in the last ten laps of the race. If not for that I really think we would’ve had something for Reed. We were fast all night, we were good all night, and this could have been our race. We’re taking this same car to Indianapolis Raceway Park next week so hopefully we can finish the deal there.”  -- David Stremme

"To come back to St. Louis, a place where I've always struggled, and run well in a race named in my family's honor, is very rewarding. I spun the tires on the restart, I screwed up. I was so geared up and so excited, I just wanted to do too much." – Mike Wallace.

Next Up: The Busch Series joins the Cup Series and the Craftsman Truck Series in Indianapolis next weekend.  The Busch Series will run the Kroger 200 at Indianapolis Raceway Park on Saturday, August 6th.  The race can be seen on TNT beginning at 8:30 EST.

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