Matt Wallace returning to ARCA at Lucas Oil Raceway

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After two months away, Matt Wallace is returning to ARCA for his second start in the stock car series and first at Lucas Oil Raceway.

Wallace, the son of Mike Wallace, will start in the July 24 race at LOR in Indianapolis after making his series debut at Toledo on May 17, where he finished 10th.

“I’m definitely learning,” Wallace said. “The way these ARCA cars handle is so much different than the straight-rail, late model cars I’m used to. When you’re driving a car that’s a thousand pounds heavier, it almost feels like you’re driving a truck with a trailer behind you when you get in the corners.

“I learned that you really have to manage your brakes. I’m got ’em too hot at Toledo and I found myself having to pump the brakes down the straightaways toward the end of the race. I thought we raced respectable. We’ll improve on it from here.”

Wallace, 19, will once again compete for Bill Kimmel in the race at the 0.686-mile short track, which he has never visited before. He says he has been using the iRacing video game to become familiar with the facility, which hosted Xfinity Series races until 2011.

He’s also relying heavily on the experience of his father, who won six times in ARCA, and ARCA legend Frank Kimmel, who has 80 wins in 26 years.

“I think anytime you come into a new series, you have to give the veterans the respect they deserve, on and off the track,” Wallace said. “You gotta give ’em some room while you learn to hold your own. It’s a careful balance.

“I need to learn from the veterans on the ARCA tour. Frank Kimmel is the Dale Earnhardt of the ARCA series, and he has a lot to teach all of us. Ultimately, you race someone the way they race you, which depends on how they race you.

“I need the experience in these big heavy ARCA cars to get to that next level. The ARCA cars have a lot more role through the corners. I’d like to run as much as I can with ARCA.”

Matt Wallace joins his father, his uncles Rusty and Kenny Wallace and cousin Stephen Wallace as family members who have pursued racing careers. Yet, Matt Wallace says there’s no pressure to live up to the family name’s legacy in the sport, which includes Rusty Wallace’s 1989 Sprint Cup championship.

“As far as that goes, my family never pressured me to continue the family tradition. This is something that I want to do, but they always left it completely up to me,” he said.

“But I don’t hang the Wallace name over my head. I’m grateful for it…I’m proud of my last name and what it’s meant to racing. Maybe one day it can help me in the door, but I don’t expect it to pay my future.”

Accepting this, Matt Wallace has a back-up plan.

He’s a sophomore at a community college not far from his race shop, working toward a business administration degree with the plans to transfer to UNC-Charlotte.

X44 Racing win 2022 Extreme E championship as Abt Cupra score first race victory

2022 Extreme E Uruguay
Extreme E
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Abt Cupra Racing’s Nasser Al-Attiyah and Klara Andersson scored their first win in the Extreme E Energy X Prix in the 2022 finale in Uruguay as Lewis Hamilton’s X44 Vida Carbon Racing drivers Sebastien Loeb and Cristina Gutierrez survived a chaotic finale to edge the 2021 champion Rosberg X Prix team of Johan Kristoffersson and Mikhaela Ahlin-Kottulinsky, by two points.

“There are so many emotions,” Andersson said in Extreme E’s coverage. “I’ve been waiting for this for so long. In my second race, first full weekend to be at the top of the podium: it’s big.”

Andersson was behind the wheel at the finish.

Rosberg Racing entered the event with a 17-point advantage over X44, but the standings were close enough that four teams remained in contention in Round 5.

“It’s a crucial weekend for us,” Loeb said in Extreme E’s coverage prior to the race. “We are not in the best position to win the championship, but the only thing we can do is try to win the race and score as many points as possible.”

The top two title contenders each crashed in qualification and were relegated to the Crazy Race, Extreme E’s version of the Last Chance Qualifier (LCQ). For the moment, they had the steepest hill to climb, but then the other two championship contending teams, Chip Ganassi Racing and Acciona Sainz Racing failed to advance from their heats.

Only one team advances from the Crazy Race, so the X44 drivers were in a must-win situation to simply keep hope alive.

More: Extreme E 2023 schedule

Ahlin-Kottulinsky and Gutierrez ran wheel to wheel into the first turn at the start of the LCQ.

The Rosberg racer experienced crash damage in that turn that damaged her front steering, but managed to limp back to the pits at the end of her two-lap stint. The team attempted to fix the steering, but incurred a penalty for having too many mechanics in the pit area.

Meanwhile, Gutierrez took the early lead, but knew she would need to sit through a five-second penalty for an incident earlier in the weekend. The female half of the gender equal pair erased the penalty by entering the Switch Zone with a five-second lead before turning the car over to Loeb.

That was all the nine-time World Rally Championship titlist needed to give him the advantage needed to win the Crazy Race.

But the championship was not over yet. X44 Racing needed to finish third or better in the five-car finale to earn enough points for the title and after advancing from the LCQ, they were forced to take the worst grid position.

A chaotic start to the Finale saw Loeb run as high the lead and low as fourth after getting pushed off course during his first lap. And that is how he entered to Switch Zone.

On her first lap, Gutierrez slammed into Molly Taylor. With one lap remaining, X44 and Gutierrez were still in fourth and the title hope was quickly evaporating, but it was announced halfway through the lap that the third-running Andretti United team would suffer a penalty for a Switch Zone infraction. The seven-second deduction for Timmy Hansen braking too late in the zone made the difference in the title.

Coming off a disappointing Copper X Prix when Tanner Foust and Emma Gilmour crossed under the checkers first, but were relegated to fifth by penalty, the McLaren pair scored their first podium of the season in second.