Ask any racecar driver and they’ll tell you, there’s no time like the first time. Peterborough’s Mike Wallace knows how to win races. A check of the career statistics from Kawartha Speedway’s Hasiuk Trailer and Container Rental Mini Stock division will tell you that. The 3rd generation speedster captured the entry level field’s rookie of the year award in 2008 and the track championship a year later, collecting 5 wins and 18 top 5 finishes along the way. Wallace has turned-in some solid efforts since joining the NAPA Auto Parts ACT Late Model pack in 2010, but he’s yet to be interviewed in victory lane following a main event win. “There have been some great runs and I’ve come close, but it just hasn’t happened yet,” said Wallace. “It’s a very competitive field and the talent level seems to rise every year. As much as I’d like to win, there’s no point in pushing the issue. It’ll happen when it does. If not in the final show this season, I can take another shot at it in 2013. No matter how long it takes, I’m sure it will be worth the wait.” Even though Mike Wallace failed to crack the top 10 in track points during his first year in the new division, the driver of the #27 Vortex Brake Pads/ISL Insurance/Beachwood Resort/Mayhew Graphics/Earl Ireland Auto Sales/King Auto Wreckers/Mister Transmission/Kent Farms/Pro Fuels/Choko Motorsports/Fast Eddie Racewear/King Brewery/Jellybean Imaging Chevrolet Impala earned the rookie of the year award in 2010 and rebounded with a 9th place effort in the final 2011 standings. “It was a pretty steep learning curve moving from the Mini Stock to the heavier, faster Late Model but I think the team has made some solid gains since we made the switch,” said Wallace. “I like the way the car feels and we’re learning more about set-up and the handling characteristics every time we race. Even though they want to beat you on the track, the other drivers in the field have been a really big help.” A 6th place finish in the 150 lap Summer Sizzler gave the team a real shot in the arm and the confidence they’d need rolling into the second half of the year. Heading into the final race of the 2012 campaign, Wallace is 6th in the standings, but just 46 points out of 4th place in a very tight battle for position. He knows the final outcome won’t be decided until the checkered flag flies, but the driver known as “The Blueprint” likes the way this season has played out. “The top 10 runs have put me in this position and I feel good about what’s to come,” said Wallace. “Consistency is the key to winning championships and if I can finish near the top of the pack on a regular basis, that’ll get the job done.” Kawartha klips: The final regular event of the 2012 season ”“ Friday, September 7th ”“ will be a full night of action at the Fraserville 3/8th miler. In addition to the Hasiuk Trailer and Container Rental Mini Stocks, Thunder Cars and the NAPA Auto Parts ACT Late Models, the show will also include the annual 75 lap Don Biederman Memorial for the OSCAAR Super Late Models, the first Kawartha appearance by the OSCAAR Modifieds and the 4th run for the Ontario Legends Series. Gates will open at 3:00; with racing starting at 6:00...The NASCAR Canadian Tire Series will crown this year’s champion at the 250 lap season finale Saturday, September 22nd. For full schedule details and the latest track news, see www.kawarthaspeedway.com. Photo attachment: Jim Clarke ”“ Clarke Motorsports Communications Peterborough, Ontario’s Mike Wallace is still looking for his first feature event win in the NAPA Auto Parts ACT Late Model division at Kawartha Speedway. The 2012 season wraps-up Friday, September 7th.