Saying that Steven Wallace had a rough night at New Smyrna Speedway (FL) on Wednesday night would be an understatement. When the dust settled, however, it was Wallace celebrating his first Super Late Model win of the World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing.
Wallace had multiple drivers a bit unhappy with the way he raced last night, especially young Harrison Burton. Wallace and Burton, both the sons of former NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers, made contact while racing hard for the lead coming out of the fourth turn with Wallace getting the upperhand.
Burton fell back to third, but came storming back to the rear end of Wallace’s red No. 66 machine as they entered turn three. Burton drove his No. 12 Super Late Model hard into turn three and into the back of Wallace. Wallace spun out and got slammed in the door by another car. Burton was sent to the rear of the field by track officials and Wallace was given his spot back as the leader.
“We race clean normally, me and Steven,” Burton told Speed51.com powered by JEGS. “We raced cleanly down here at the Governor’s Cup and I had a ball racing with him. It was kind of weird and unexpected almost that the first time he gets to me he just uses me up to get to the lead. He didn’t really try to race clean.”
After being placed back in the lead, Wallace survived multiple restarts, even as his car was showering sparks as he headed off into the corners, to score the victory.
“We all work really hard on these cars all winter to get down here,” said Wallace. “I saw a hole and I had to go. I worked too damn hard to rough a guy up and not win this race. The car is a little banged up, but we’ve got plenty of equipment to fix all the body work, so we’re excited.”
Wallace had to hold off Ryan Moore, who he had an incident with during the final night of last year’s World Series, for the last six laps of the race. Moore tried as hard as he could, but didn’t want to rough up Wallace at the end.
“It was extremely rough,” said Moore. “I don’t understand what everyone’s prerogative here is. It’s been a rough couple days for me and I’m all out of parts to race like that so I had to be somewhat smart and make it through the night.”
While Moore said that he’s happy Wallace won, he doesn’t understand why Wallace was given his spot back after the spin.
“It’s the only place I’ve ever been where a guy gets dumped and gets his spot back,” said Moore. “It’s kind of weird, but hey, I’m happy Steve won. I’m happy with second, but it is kind of strange they gave him his spot back.”
Wallace, who not only had issues with Burton, said he had to run the end of the race with his hand on the master switch because it had been knocked out of position earlier in the race.
“We got into one guy and he got pissed and threw his steering wheel at me and knocked the whole mirror off,” Wallace said. “When the mirror came in it blew the master power switch out of my car so I had to keep my hand on that. It was everything I could do to finish the race because I wanted to win it so bad. It was an awesome deal. I’m really excited.”
It was a Wallace Family Reunion in New Smyrna’s victory lane on Wednesday night as Wallace’s cousin, Matt, took the checkered flag in the second Pro Late Model feature.
“That’s awesome, and to share it with him and the whole Wallace family is really cool,” said Steven Wallace. “It’s definitely a meaningful weekend for sure.”
-By Rob Blount, Speed51.com Northeast Editor – Twitter: @RobBlount
-Photo credit: Speed51.com