Wallace corrals FC 150 victory

By Jeff Birchfield
star staff

  BRISTOL -- Dad couldn't have done it any better.
  Leading 77 laps, Steve Wallace, the 17-year-old son of nine time Bristol Motor Speedway Cup Series winner Rusty Wallace, took the winner's trophy in the Food City 150 presented by Frito-Lay at BMS Saturday night.
  "My dad has won here nine times in a Cup car and my uncle Kenny won here in a Busch car and an All-Pro car; I can't believe I won in a Late Model car," said Wallace, who drove a No. 02 Dodge. "It was the best running race car I've ever had. It was absolutely perfect."
  Wallace was thrilled to win the inaugural visit of the UARA stock car series to Bristol Motor Speedway. After passing Josh Adams for the lead on lap 79, the Mooresville, N.C. driver never relinquished the top position.
  "It's a thrill to win on these big speedways," said Wallace about his first sanctioned UARA win. "I'm all pumped up. It is my second overall win in my Late Model career. It's just awesome."
  Adams, an 18-year-old former National Champion go-kart racer from outside Nashville, gave rookies the top two finishing positions.
  "I'm kind of speechless," said Adams, the only driver in the field in a Toyota. "It's a blessing to be here and finish second behind Rusty Wallace's son. This is my first time here. It's only my second year in Late Models."
  Front row starters Joe Buford and Lee Tissot jockeyed for the lead over the first half of the race. Buford led the opening lap before Tissot paced the next 40 circuits.
  Buford would reclaim the lead on lap 43, before handing over the top spot to Adams 25 laps later. Adams was in front a dozen laps before relenting to Wallace.
  The action slowed when Terry Allison, Jr. popped a right front tire on lap 97 and slammed the wall hard coming off turn two.
  Defending series champion Tissot also experienced tire troubles, hitting the turn two wall on lap 122 for the race's seventh caution.
  Jamey Caudill finished in third place just ahead of former Kingsport Speedway track champion Keith Stiltner.
  "There isn't a track in the country that can match up with this one," said Stiltner, estatic about a fourth-place finish. "There are a lot of fast race tracks, but this one takes the cake. This race track and our cars running as fast as they did overabused the tires.
  "I wasn't running full out there at the end. I was afraid I was going to blow a tire out or blister one."
  North Carolina short track racer Jamie Yelton rounded out the top five.
  Positions six through ten went to Deac McCaskill, Bennie Hamlett, Kirk Leone and Ashley Huffman.
  On the final lap, a prospective top five finish for Clarksville driver Clay Greenfield ended when another blown tire sent his car right side into the turn two wall.
  In all the race was slowed by seven cautions for 41 laps. No drivers were seriously injured.
  Ironically for Wallace, the win came one month after he spent a night in a Bristol hospital for a concussion suffered in a Hooters Pro Cup Series race.
  Midway through the race Wallace saw his car put in a similar awkward position, down on the apron of the track just as his Pro Cup car had been one month earlier.
  "Lee Tissot slowed and I was wide open and had nowhere to go," recounted Wallace. "He was sideways and I was sideways. When I was on the bottom of the race track I was like waiting for that thing to shoot up to the wall."
  Wallace, who started fourth after winning a preliminary heat race, did maintain control to later score the biggest win of his young career.
  The UARA Series travels to the 1/3 mile flat track of Hickory Motor Speedway next Saturday night for the tour's next scheduled race.