Kenny Wallace Seeks To Repeat Drafting Success To First Victory TALLADEGA, Ala. (Oct. 17, 2001) -- During last year's fall race in Talladega, Kenny Wallace followed the renowned "draft king" Dale Earnhardt from the middle of the pack toward the...
Kenny Wallace Seeks To Repeat Drafting Success To First Victory
TALLADEGA, Ala. (Oct. 17, 2001) -- During last year's fall race in Talladega, Kenny Wallace followed the renowned "draft king" Dale Earnhardt from the middle of the pack toward the front very late in the race, assisting the seven-time champion to what would be his last victory, as he followed close in second place.
This year Wallace hopes to apply the same strategy on the 2.66-mile tri-oval of being patient and utilizing the draft to produce the first victory on a superspeedway for the #1 Pennzoil team during the EA SPORTS 500 this weekend.
Wallace was privy to have the back seat view as Earnhardt charged from the 16th spot into the lead in the final six laps of the Winston 500. Following closely, Wallace gave Earnhardt the push he needed to pass Mike Skinner for the lead as they took the white flag. Wallace made the decision to follow the eventual winner rather than his teammate in the #33 car as they sprinted toward the front, a move that gave him one of his best Winston Cup finishes.
"The memory of last year's race is still etched in my brain," said Wallace, who continues to drive in the #1 Pennzoil Chevrolet for injured Steve Park. "I was lucky enough to be in that position last year and it is something I will never forget. Dale (Earnhardt) thanked me after the race and that meant everything to me. It was a thrill to race with him in the draft since he's so legendary for his ability to 'feel the air'.
"Think we have a very good shot at winning this weekend," continued Wallace, who has posted five top-10 finishes in the past six races he's competed in at Talladega. "The guys at the Pennzoil shop are really excited about the superspeedway program as well."
"This will be a brand new race car for us at Talladega this weekend," said crew chief Paul Andrews. "We've taken it testing twice and it's good to go. The motor department at DEI has been working hard on horsepower and we're looking for a strong finish since Kenny typically runs well there.
"We were glad the Chevrolets didn't have any aero changes for this race," continued Andrews, who is referring to the changes NASCAR made for the Fords and Pontiacs for Talladega. "We gathered data on the aerodynamics of the Pennzoil car after it was built and feel we've got what we need. Last year threw us for a loop when they changed everything at the last minute."
"I really, truly believe we've got a shot at it this weekend," concluded Wallace. "It's a matter of putting yourself in the right position at the right time." <pre> Kenny Wallace Talladega Superspeedway Winston Cup Performance Record
Year Race Start Finish Laps Status 2001 Talladega 500 DNQ 2000 DieHard 500 26 40 130/188 Engine Winston 500 7 2 188/188 Running 1999 DieHard 500 15 7 188/188 Running Winston 500 3 5 188/188 Running 1998 DieHard 500 35 7 188/188 Running Winston 500 40 40 107/188 Piston 1997 Winston 500 30 26 187/188 Running DieHard 500 35 15 188/188 Running 1996 Winston 500 30 14 188/188 Running DieHard 500 12 20 127/129 Running 1995 Winston 500 23 36 185/188 Running 1994 DieHard 500 16 9 188/188 Running 1993 Winston 500 17 14 188/188 Running DieHard 500 34 35 94/188 Mechanical