Kenny Wallace Will Have Second Chance To Become Inaugural Winner at Homestead HOMESTEAD, Fla. (July 14, 1999) -- Kenny Wallace nearly became the inaugural winner at Homestead-Miami Speedway, but saw his chances slip away in the closing minutes.
Kenny Wallace Will Have Second Chance To Become Inaugural Winner at Homestead
HOMESTEAD, Fla. (July 14, 1999) -- Kenny Wallace nearly became the inaugural winner at Homestead-Miami Speedway, but saw his chances slip away in the closing minutes. November 14, Wallace will get a second chance to make a first impression for the Miami fans, and he'd like nothing better than to be the Speedway's first NASCAR Winston Cup winner in the Pennzoil 400.
Homestead-Miami Speedway opened with the 1995 Jiffy Lube Miami 300, and Wallace seemed destined to capture the top prize at the gala opener. He led the most laps at the state-of-the-art facility, only to be caught up in a crash with less than three laps remaining.
"Miami was one of the biggest heartbreakers of my career," the 35-year-old St. Louis native recalled. "That inaugural race paid over $70,000 to win and I wanted that trophy so bad. I had the race won coming for the white flag. But Larry Pearson got into the back of Hermie Sadler and sent Hermie into me. We all wrecked."
The incident allowed Dale Jarrett -- who had been running fourth -- to become the Speedway's first major race winner. Wallace -- who led an event-high 77 laps -- settled for 16th, and a check for $9,225.
"We had an awesome car that day. That was a hard one to get over."
Wallace is currently piloting the No. 55 Square D-sponsored Chevrolet owned by Andy Petree. He is coming off several strong recent showings, qualifying four times in the front two rows, including winning the outside pole at Richmond. His best finish of the season with the new team was a sixth at Martinsville, followed by a seventh on the high banks of Talladega.
Kenny is the youngest of three Wallaces competing in NASCAR. His older brother Rusty is a former NASCAR Winston Cup champion and regular on the tour, while Mike drives in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series, winning the Florida Dodge Dealers 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway in March.
Prior to joining the NASCAR Winston Cup Series, Kenny Wallace won eight NASCAR Busch Series races and eight pole positions, and was the runnerup for the 1991 championship. His Winston Cup career highlight was in the 1998 Bud Shootout at Daytona, where he finished second behind brother Rusty in the non-points race for Bud Pole winners.
After nearly winning the inaugural event in Miami, Wallace returned for the 1996 Jiffy Lube Miami 300. Ironically, while he failed to lead a lap, he brought home a better result. He finished 14th after qualifying 13th, and brought home a check for $9,675.
"They've done a tremendous job in spending thousands of dollars on making the race track better and better. I like racing on the flat tracks, and that 's another reason I'm looking forward to going there with the Andy Petree Square D team."
Reserved grandstand seats are now on sale for the Pennzoil 400. For tickets, call (305) 230-7223. For additional information, visit the official Homestead-Miami Speedway web site at www.racemiami.com.
Kenny Wallace on South Florida
"I really like going down to Miami. Not only do I run pretty competitive there, but it's a very interesting place to visit. It gives us a chance for a mini-vacation, and it's one of those race tracks where you can visit a couple days early. We hope to spend some time in the Keys prior to the race. Miami is a new environment for the NASCAR Winston Cup Series. Miami is a real famous city with a lot of history, and NASCAR definitely needs to be there."
This is the seventh in a series of releases featuring the thoughts of key NASCAR Winston Cup Series competitors in anticipation of the inaugural Pennzoil 400, Nov. 11-14 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.