CHARLOTTE, N.C., (Sept. 13, 1999) - While rookie phenom Tony Stewart blazed to his first NASCAR Winston Cup Series victory, Square D Chevrolet driver Kenny Wallace fought his way to a solid 12th place finish in Saturday night's Exide NASCAR ...
CHARLOTTE, N.C., (Sept. 13, 1999) - While rookie phenom Tony Stewart blazed to his first NASCAR Winston Cup Series victory, Square D Chevrolet driver Kenny Wallace fought his way to a solid 12th place finish in Saturday night's Exide NASCAR Select Batteries 400 at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway.
"It was a hard-fought night," said Wallace. "Those Gibbs cars (Stewart and Bobby Labonte) were just unbelievable. They pretty much put the whole field a lap down. We came up and were able to get by Jeff Burton and Rusty (Wallace) for a 12th place finish. I could've roughed the (No.) 31 (Mike Skinner) up a little bit there at the end, but I didn't want to ruin a good run. We'll just work harder and be better next time."
Wallace's 12th place finish bumped him up two spots in the championship point standings to 22nd. Wallace looks to pick up even more points heading to the site of his career-best Winston Cup finish (second) - New Hampshire International Speedway for the Sept. 19 Dura Lube/Kmart 300.
When Kenny Wallace was a budding NASCAR Busch Series, Grand National Division star, the biggest win of his career came in 1991 at New Hampshire International Speedway in Loudon. It was the second of what would eventually be eight Busch Series victories, with his first coming in 1991 at the Spring 200 at Volusia County Speedway. It was an extremely important win for the St. Louis native for three reasons: 1) It proved his first win was not a fluke. 2) It came at New Hampshire, one of the more prestigious Busch Series venues. 3) It meant that Kenny, like older bothers, Rusty and Mike and father Russ, was able to carry on the winning ways that the Wallace family had been, and continues to be, known for.
It is irony or fate or a little bit of both that Square D Chevrolet driver Kenny Wallace returns to New Hampshire in perhaps his best position to win his first NASCAR Winston Cup Series race. After all, he scored his best career Winston Cup finish back in July at the Jiffy Lube 300 by placing second to winner Jeff Burton. That finish surprised some, but not Wallace.
"I did notice out of my right eye that people talked about how they were caught off-guard about me finishing second at Loudon," said Wallace. "When I got out of the car at the gas pumps, Dale Jarrett gave me a funny look like, 'What are you doing here?' But he's a great guy and he was one of the first to congratulate me."
Wallace's optimism about garnering his first win at "The Magic Mile" is well-founded. His average finish in the last three races held at the 1.058-mile oval is sixth, and his average qualifying effort in the same number of races is ninth. To boot, he earned one of his eight Busch Series poles at New Hampshire for the 1992 Budweiser 200.
"When I won that Busch race in Loudon - it was big," said Wallace. "It filled my own heart with satisfaction. When you win your first Winston Cup race, you do the same thing - you fill your own heart with satisfaction. That's all I want to do. I don't care about the trophies and I don't care about the money. I want to win for Kenny Wallace."
Kenny Wallace's New Hampshire Performance Profile Year Event Start Finish Status/Laps Earnings 1999 Jiffy Lube 300 6 2 Running/300 $95,400 1998 Jiffy Lube 300 17 10 Running/300 $62,625 Farm Aid on CMT 300 4 6 Running/300 $52,900 1997 Jiffy Lube 300 36 19 Running/299 $31,900 Farm Aid on CMT 300 34 27 Running/298 $34,750 1996 Jiffy Lube 300 15 19 Running/299 $17,525 1993 Slick 50 300 25 21 Running/297 $13,150