CHARLOTTE, N.C., (Feb. 28, 2001) - With overcast skies hovering over North Carolina Speedway, Kenny Wallace strapped into his No. 27 Eel River Racing Pontiac ready to get down to business. Light rain fell on the speedway for better part of the...
CHARLOTTE, N.C., (Feb. 28, 2001) - With overcast skies hovering over North Carolina Speedway, Kenny Wallace strapped into his No. 27 Eel River Racing Pontiac ready to get down to business.
Light rain fell on the speedway for better part of the morning before a break in the weather allowed the drivers to fire the engines almost two hours after the scheduled start time. However, as soon as the green flag dropped, the yellow flag came out almost immediately for a wreck in turn three involving Wallace, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Mike Wallace.
"It was an unfortunate deal," said Wallace. "We're not even to lap one and everything got crazy. I don't know what the deal was. It seemed like everybody wanted to get to the bottom of the track. It looked like the (No.) 4 car got down in front of Dale Jr. Then he jacked him in the rear and got sideways. Then the (No.) 14 got into him and here comes Jr. just flying out. It looked like he was heading straight into the wall and that's where I was."
The race resumed under bright skies Monday and the Eel River Racing crew worked feverishly to get the car back on the track to earn points. At lap 174 Wallace re-entered the field before retiring to the garage in 42nd position when they realized they couldn't move up any more in the running order.
"We did everything we could to earn points today," said Wallace. "We'll just go to Las Vegas that much more determined."
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Kenny Wallace and the No. 27 Eel River Racing team have a few things to be excited about when they hit the 1.5-mile oval at Las Vegas Motor Speedway this weekend.
For starters, they have a one-race sponsorship deal with Hills Bros Coffee to promote their 100% Columbian blend and they are also gunning for the No Bull 5 bonus.
"This is going to be an exciting weekend for us in Las Vegas," said Wallace. "We have the opportunity to work with a great sponsor like Hills Bros and possibly win one million dollars for the team and a lucky fan."
This weekend's UAW-Daimler Chrysler 400 isn't the first time Wallace has been eligible for the No Bull program. He earned that distinction at 2000 Daytona (Fla.) 500 after finishing fifth at the 1999 Winston 500 in Talladega (Ala.). This time, Wallace qualified for the No Bull 5 with a second place finish at Talladega.
"Obviously it's an honor to be in the No Bull program," continued Wallace. "I'm looking forward to it. But, it is another race. I don't feel any added pressure with the No Bull program, however I do want to have a good finish for Hills Bros."
Crew chief Barry Dodson echoes Wallace's thoughts on the level of pressure involved with racing as a No Bull 5 contender.
"It's a lot of exposure being a No Bull car," said Dodson, "but I think the pressure is the same. At this level you have to be prepared 100% every week. We're optimistic about Las Vegas. We had a great test with two good cars and we opted to take one back. Kenny's been running a lot better at that track than he has in the past. So, we're excited about being one of those cars and having a deal with Hills Bros."
Wallace will be paired up with one of five lucky fans prior to the start of the weekend's activities.
"I look forward to meeting my fan," said Wallace. "I'm going to try hard for that person. I'm sure we both could use the money. But most of all I'd like to do something for someone else. It would be pretty exciting to see them get a million dollars."
<pre> Kenny Wallace's LasVegas Performance Profile Year Event Start Finish Status/Laps Earnings 2000 CarsDirect.com 400 40 39 Running/146 $57,050 1999 Las Vegas 400 27 40 Handling/131 $45,375 1998 Las Vegas 400 13 42 Engine/179 $40,200