Chat with Mike Wallace
Welcome to SportsNation! On Monday, On Monday, Mike Wallace will stop by to take your questions on all the latest motorsports news.
Mike comes from a racing family, being the middle brother of Rusty and Kenny. He has run in over 187 Sprint Cup races in his 16-year career. He also placed a career-best eighth in the Nationwide Series last season. Wallace also owns 111 starts in the truck series, with a career-best finish of fourth following the 2000 season.
Send your questions now and join Wallace on Monday at 1:30 p.m. ET!
Buzzmaster (1:23 PM)
NASCAR Now's Mike Wallace will be here at 1:30 p.m. ET to take all of your autoracing questions!
Buzzmaster (1:28 PM)
We've got Mike!
Mike what's the strategy on the road courses? Do you try to plan out beforehand where you can pass cars on the course and then wait for those chances?
Mike Wallace (1:30 PM)
That's a great question. First of all, the first strategy we play out is where we're going to pit. If you noticed yesterday a lot of the cars didn't pit on the cautions, they pitted on the greens. There are passing points on the racetrack where we know we can have a successful pass. Yesterday, Turn 11 and Turn 5 were good passing points.
just how different is it on a road course than an oval?
Mike Wallace (1:31 PM)
You have to have a totally different mindset to drive a road course than an oval. You're turning left and right versus turning left. You have to change up your chassis. You have to remember you can not run off the racetrack. You have to take yourself to a road course with patience and keep the car on the course, no running tires off. It's totally different running a road course versus an oval.
Mike, the road courses are so different than the ovals, and there are only a few races on them during the season...so what do the drivers think of changing things up so drastically during the season and going to a road course?
Mike Wallace (1:33 PM)
Early on, certain drivers only a few drivers really liked the road courses. And only a few teams really liked going to the road courses. Now, the teams and drivers look at it as just another race to win. The points are there to get. Now drivers that are road course experts spend a lot of time coaching other drivers, guys like Boris Said.
Hey Mikey, Wanted to ask about Kevin Harvick. Last season he was one of NASCAR's best, but now it seems a 30th place finish is normal for him this season. What happened?
Mike Wallace (1:34 PM)
Great question. There seems to be some confusion at RCR right now that really none of the four cars Harvick, Bowyer, Mears are really running that well. I wouldn't put any emphasis on it being Kevin Harvick. There's something in the chassi setup in the car design that's just not as good as it was last year.
Mike Wallace (1:34 PM)
Richard had openly admitted that over this past week that they need to make some changes.
Mike Wallace (1:35 PM)
Let's not forget that they did make a complete crew change on Harvick's team earlier in the year.
Joe (Missoula, Mt )
Mike, Did you think the racing was better yesterday than some ovals like Michigan the week before? If so why doesn't nascar add more road courses on the schedule? Yesterday was great!
Mike Wallace (1:37 PM)
I believe the racing was very good yesterday. We have to contribute some of that to the double file restarts for the first time. Only the lead lap cars lined up positionwise. I believe the cars, teams, drivers have taken it more seriously now. That made it a better race yesterday. As for adding more road courses, there doesn't seem to be much interest from the outside fanbase or the teams or drivers to add more road courses. Plus, there's no room on the schedule to add anything.
ryan (new york)
which road course do you think is harder infineon or the glen
Mike Wallace (1:37 PM)
Infineon is a tougher road course to drive and pass on. Watkins Glen is a higher speed circuit that allows you more passing opportunities.
do you see RCR making changes before next year or even this year? It seems to be comapny wide, i think they make some driver changes
Mike Wallace (1:38 PM)
I do believe that Richard Childress will make changes at RCR. What those changes are, if he knew what he needed to fix...I know Richard personally, he will do what he has to do to win, but first he has to identify what the problem is. I don't think they have done that yet.
Mike Wallace (1:39 PM)
Yesterday, Kevin Harvick was going to have a decent day, but he ended up having a right front tire go flat. So everything's not right with the team.
mike (massillon, ohio)
what do you think of the progress of dale jr and the 88 team since the change? they were in the top ten with less than ten to go before getting spun out
Mike Wallace (1:40 PM)
First, I think we expect too much out of Dale Jr. He's our most popular driver in the series, but he's not the best driver. His team will materialize. He did have one of his best rides yesterday, but unfortunately he was a victim that cost him a good finish.
how do you adjust from going from the road course to the oval course this weekend?
Mike Wallace (1:41 PM)
It's really not from the drivers perspective. I don't think you change. A lot of guys will go back to the ovals where they're more comfortable.
Do you think Kasey Kahne can keep the momentum going to make the chase since he finally got a win yesterday?
Mike Wallace (1:43 PM)
Right before I got to the chat, I was sitting with Ricky Craven and Ray Evernham. Ray described Kasey as a great driver and was surprised that he never won a road course. Now, that win will help them for the rest of the year. The team had 4 out of the top 10 drivers in the race, meaning they had a good set up going into Infineon.
I think I heard that the 9 had the OLD engine package? Is that correct? How did that help...was the decision based solely on fuel mileage?
Mike Wallace (1:44 PM)
That is correct. They had last year's Dodge engine package in place. It's not that it helped them, they were just more prepared. They had a large inventory of old engines. More horsepower, better fuel economy. All the manufacturing cutbacks, teams are looking for ways to cut costs. On road courses, you need horsepower, but not all the time.
Can't wait for the Glen. The restarts going into Turn 1 should be h-a-i-r-y! Ambrose had a great day yesterday. Do you think a) he'll win a race this year and b) somebody like SHR will snag him in silly season?
Mike Wallace (1:46 PM)
I believe Marcos does have a chance. His next best possibility will be at Watkins Glen. His long time background was driving back home in the V8 super car series. His team is producing and performing very well this year.
Chad (Las Vegas)
How bad will it look for NASCAR if Mayfield wins his court battle/appeal and proves it was an over the counter drug, Claratin, that caused a false positive for Meth? I am told by my sister-in-law, a pharmacist, that Claratin can cause a false positive as 1 of its ingredients is used in making Meth. That is why it is sold behind the counter in most pharmacies now.
Mike Wallace (1:47 PM)
I think it's a very difficult situation. It's so difficult, I don't know if I want to comment on it. NASCAR feels like they're in the right. At this moment, Jeremy has nothing to lose but to fight the situation.
Mike Wallace (1:47 PM)
The only way it will ever be won is in court. It won't be agreed upon on a civil basis.
Shawn (Gastonia, NC)
Hey Mike! Tough luck at Milwaukee, eh? We've seen Nashville, Kentucky and Milwaukee on Saturday nights, I like that the races are run on different tracks than Sprint Cup, especially since we get to see the Nationwide regulars shine. Ticket sales aside, would you like to see rules about Cup regulars in the Nationwide cars?
Mike Wallace (1:49 PM)
That has been an ongoing debate for many years. For 15 years that I'm aware of, the debate is should the Cup drivers be allowed to drive in the Nationwide Series. Promoters say that it helps ticket sales, but those races had good sales and good crowds. So I don't know if I'm going to agree with that. It's great to see some of the Nationwide regulars race. It would be nice to see openings for new drivers, but as long as the Cup guys are driving, there will be no chances for new young drivers. And I personally have a stake in that, because I have a daughter who's trying to race.
When is your Daughter going to race agian?
Mike Wallace (1:51 PM)
Unfortunately, at this moment, she is actively trying to pursue sponsorship dollars to continue her career. There are no teams that are willing to give her the opportunity on her talent alone because of the current economic times for all teams. She would be able to do that with a sponsor.
Mike Wallace (1:53 PM)
I'd like to thank everyone for being on the chat today. Please watch tonight at 5 p.m. ET on ESPN2 for the NASCAR wrapup on Infineon. I'm excited to be driving the Nationwide race and Sprint Cup race this weekend from Loudon, NH. A final note out there to the corporate sponsor out there who's in the chat that you have a chance to sponsor my car.