CONCORD, N.C., (Oct. 8, 2000) - After a cut right front tire sent Kenny Wallace and the Square D/Cooper Lighting Chevrolet crashing into the turn three wall of Lowe's Motor Speedway, the Square D Racing Team could have easily given up on lap 88...
CONCORD, N.C., (Oct. 8, 2000) - After a cut right front tire sent Kenny Wallace and the Square D/Cooper Lighting Chevrolet crashing into the turn three wall of Lowe's Motor Speedway, the Square D Racing Team could have easily given up on lap 88 of the UAW-GM Quality 500 NASCAR Winston Cup Series event.
Had the team chosen to go home early, it would have finished 41st in the race. Fortunately, crew chief Jimmy Elledge and his squad went to work on the Square D/Cooper Lighting machine, returned it to action 132 laps later, and finished in 37th place.
"We had an ignition problem in Happy Hour yesterday," said Wallace. "We weren't able to get enough laps on the track. That scenario got our weekend started on the wrong foot. We just couldn't find the problem before the race, and because of that, we lost a lap early in the event. But what really hurt was when we cut a right front tire and hit the concrete wall. We lost a lot of laps, but the Square D Racing Team was able to get us back on the track to save four positions."
Once Wallace was behind the wall, the Square D Racing Team cut away right side sheet metal damage and replaced the entire front axle to return the race car back to action around the 1.5-mile oval.
With 124 laps remaining in the contest, the St. Louis native was able to move ahead of Jeff Fuller, Dale Jarrett, Jeff Gordon and Robby Gordon, who were all out of the race. Wallace finished green flag racing with a full head of steam, narrowly edging Robby Gordon by one lap. The Square D/ Cooper Lighting pilot completed 185 of the 334 laps on the day.
"It's important to us to finish this season strong," added Wallace. "We want to remain in the top-30 in points and catch some other teams who are currently ahead of us. It's important that we run as hard as possible the rest of the way."
Wallace picked up 52 Winston Cup points on the day to remain 29th in the point standings. The Square D/Cooper Lighting driver has earned 2,374 points this season.
Bobby Labonte was the class of the UAW-GM Quality 500 field. Labonte passed runner-up Jeremy Mayfield in the final stages of the race to take the checkered flag. Ricky Rudd finished third, followed by Tony Stewart and Mark Martin, respectively.
Labonte (4,405 points) increased his lead in the Winston Cup point standings to 252 points over Jeff Burton (4,153 points). Burton finished sixth on the day. Dale Earnhardt (4,147 points), Dale Jarrett (4,017 points) and Stewart (3,977 points) round out the top-five.
Wallace will return to action Sun., Oct. 15, at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway for the Winston 500. Live coverage begins at 1 p.m. EDT on ESPN.