With Jerry Nadeau still at the forefront of everyone's thoughts prior to the start of Saturday night's 30-lap Winston Open, substitute U.S. Army driver Mike Wallace was hoping he could turn his second row starting slot into a winning effort and a last minute ticket into the prestigious million dollar Winston.

Unfortunately for Wallace and the MB2 Motorsports team however, Ken Schrader spun him out on the first lap and dropped him to the rear of the field and then during an aggressive recovery drive, another driver tapped the #01 Pontiac on the fifth lap and knocked the tow out of the car.

The result was a frustrating 16th place finish for the damaged U.S. Army car after the manic opening 20 lap segment, a position not good enough to keep Wallace in the race for the final ten lap sprint, eventually won by Jeff Burton.

Wallace, who started fourth in the 20-lap, non-points event, was just getting a feel for the 1.5-mile Lowe's Motor Speedway when Schrader slid into him as the 27-car field was in the process of completing the first lap.

Though the contact sent the No. 01 U.S. Army Pontiac Grand Prix into a smoking spin, Wallace was able to save the car from making any contact. However, the incident did cost Wallace valuable track position as he was forced to come into the pits to make a four-tire change.

"It was a tough start," said Wallace. "We drove through one and two on the outside and felt we had a pretty good race car. We got down into turn three and unfortunately another car got into our left rear and turned us around. We were really fortunate the U.S. Army car didn't get wrecked because we spun in front of the whole field. When I was turning sideways I was thinking this is going to hurt. We saved it, but the hit was costly in track position, especially in a 20-lap sprint race."

Four laps later as Wallace was fighting his way back to the front; his black and gold car got tagged again when he was attempting to avoid a multi-car accident. The Army of One car suffered significant aerodynamic damage to the right side, which basically ended any chance of Wallace making the 14-car transfer field for the final 10-lap segment.

"I tried to miss the wreck but somebody drove into us and got the whole aero part of the car all screwed up," explained Wallace. "These cars are so aerodynamically sensitive that it made it almost an impossible situation to overcome the problems in this type of a race. It was really unfortunate because we had the package for a good run tonight."