Kenny Wallace Gets New Deal With Chevrolet

HARRISBURG, N.C., (Jan. 26, 1999) - After three years of wheeling a Ford full-time in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series, Kenny Wallace will be piloting a Chevrolet for Andy Petree Racing (APR) in 1999 with continued support from Square D. ...

HARRISBURG, N.C., (Jan. 26, 1999) - After three years of wheeling a Ford full-time in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series, Kenny Wallace will be piloting a Chevrolet for Andy Petree Racing (APR) in 1999 with continued support from Square D. The Ford versus Chevy debate has, frequently, taken center stage on the Winston Cup battlefield. Sneak attacks - the unveiling of the "new" Monte Carlo in 1995 that went on to win 21 of 31 races despite pre-season notions from the Chevy camp that they were saddled with an uncompetitive stead. Counter attacks - the potency of the Ford Taurus throughout 1998 while Ford teams insisted they were behind the development curve of their new race car. Today, the Ford versus Chevy battle wages on. After leaving the Ford camp of FILMAR Racing where Wallace was stationed full-time in the Winston Cup ranks from 1996 to the end of last season, he now finds himself on the front lines of the debate in the cockpit of his Square D Chevrolet. "I think Chevrolet saw an opportunity to get another car with a competitive team behind it into Winston Cup racing," said Wallace. "I plan on producing for them. I will make a difference in Chevrolet's run for the manufacturer's cup this year." Wallace's confidence comes from his new ride with Petree's multi-car effort, where he joins current APR and Chevy driver Ken Schrader. Since 1996 when Petree bought the team from friend and former owner Leo Jackson, the Flat Rock, N.C., operation has recorded four poles, seven top- five finishes, 27 top-10 finishes and earned $3,817,283 in purse money. With Schrader behind the wheel of the No. 33 Monte Carlos since 1997, he has placed 10th and 12th, respectively, in the 1997 and 1998 Winston Cup driver's championship. "The team is what makes the car go," insists Wallace. "I think the number one issue for an automaker is the team that's behind them." Wallace cites older brother Rusty's dominating performance in 1993 as an example. Driving a Pontiac, Rusty scored 10 victories en route to finishing second in points to Chevy driver Dale Earnhardt. The only other Pontiac driver to notch a win that year was Kyle Petty in the Champion Spark Plug 500 at Pocono (Pa.) International Raceway. "It wasn't the body that made that car go," said Wallace. "It was Rusty Wallace and Penske Racing." Perhaps the biggest advantage to Wallace switching to the Chevy team of APR is their involvement in RAD - the consortium of Richard Childress Racing, APR and Dale Earnhardt, Inc. Together with highly regarded aerodynamicist Louis Duncan, the three teams are working in conjunction with each other to further the development of the current Monte Carlo. Work on the next generation Monte Carlo, slated to debut at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway in May, is also underway. "That's one of the fun parts of this deal," said Wallace. "Before we go to the race track, we already know what our race car is all about. We know its characteristics because it's been to the wind tunnel and it's been tested. Right now, we're pulling double-duty. We're still working on the current Monte Carlo, but we're getting the new Monte Carlo ready for its debut too." "Each team has a person assigned to work directly with Louis," added Jimmy Elledge, crew chief on the Square D Chevrolet. "They've got a format in place that's really made it easy on us as we get this (No.) 55 team up and running. "We built the chassis for a prototype of the new Monte Carlo," continued Elledge, "and Childress is going to put the body on it. Then we're going to do a bunch of wind tunnel and track testing with it. When you split this kind of work up amongst three teams, it's a whole lot easier than if just one team were doing it." Take cover, another season of the Fords versus the Chevrolets looms ahead. Square D Company is a market-leading supplier of electrical distribution, industrial control and automation products, systems and services. It is the flagship brand of Groupe Schneider-North America, one of four geographic divisions of Groupe Schneider, headquartered in Paris, France. Groupe Schneider is a global electrical industry leader with 1997 sales of approximately $7.9 billion.

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About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt , Rusty Wallace , Kyle Petty , Kenny Wallace , Andy Petree
Teams Team Penske