Wallace Surprises Field

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - Mike Wallace might not have a full-time ride for the 2003 NASCAR Winston Cup Series season but the veteran driver is making the most of his limited schedule in James Finch's Dodge. Wallace turned in the fastest lap in Wednesday's pre-season test session at Daytona International Speedway.

Wallace's lap was in fact the fastest speed yet at this week's test. The run of 184.053 mph was even fastest than the best lap during last year's Daytona test session.

Wallace is piloting the No. 09 car that Geoffrey Bodine drove to a third place finish in last year's Daytona 500.. He has teamed up with veteran car owner Finch in a limited deal for this season.

"James has always had fast race cars. The focus is to qualify this car in the top 10 at all five races that we go to ... and have great finishes," Wallace said.

"I know a lot of people say that's a long shot for a part-time team, but these guys are serious about racing. There's a lot of effort being put into this program."

Tuesday's test leader Mike Skinner was second fastest Wednesday with a lap of 183.786 mph in the afternoon session. Michael Waltrip was third fastest at 183.572 mph.

The three-day session concludes on Thursday.

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