Bad Luck Teams Up Against APR At Talladega

TALLADEGA, Ala. – Andy Petree Racing came to Talladega Superspeedway with high hopes of good runs by both of its cars.

But after a difficult weekend, Sunday’s Aaron’s 499 didn’t offer any better luck for Bobby Hamilton or Mike Wallace. Wallace was involved in The Big Wreck with 25 laps to go and finished 42nd, while Hamilton struggled and finished 22nd.

Wallace and Hamilton started the race in backup cars after a practice crash Saturday. Hamilton, the race’s defending champion, started 43rd after using a provisional, and he lost a lap when he pitted on Lap 38.

Hamilton hung in there, though, battling to stay one lap down. Hamilton’s No. 55 Schnieder Electric Chevy missed The Big Wreck by spinning in the grass, and he survived to come home 22nd.

Hamilton did manage to move up two spots in the Winston Cup points standings, and he’s 28th heading to California Speedway next weekend.

Wallace, driving the Preen ‘N Green No. 33 Chevy, wasn’t as fortunate as Hamilton. While racing among the frontrunners even though he was a lap down, Wallace bounced off of Tony Stewart off Turn 2 on Lap 163. That started a chain-reaction crash that eventually involved 24 car.

“I was trying to go into a hole,” Wallace said. “I kind of checked up a little bit. I don’t really know what happened. I have to really see it on tape. Just all those high speeds, and it’s late in the race.

“We were trying to have a good finish for our sponsor. We got down a lap in the pits. The car was really good, so we were up there trying to race. We were going a good job. Something stacked up in front of us. I don’t know what happened, but I’m sorry we were involved in it, and all those other cars also.”

Dale Earnhardt Jr. held off Dale Earnhardt Inc. teammate Michael Waltrip to win Sunday’s race.

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NASCAR Sprint Cup, 2002

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