Square D Racing Review/Preview CHARLOTTE, N.C., (June 1, 1999) - Square D Chevrolet driver Kenny Wallace qualified third for the May 30 Coca-Cola 600 and then finished the 400-lap event in 12th place. His third place starting spot was his...
Square D Racing Review/Preview
CHARLOTTE, N.C., (June 1, 1999) - Square D Chevrolet driver Kenny Wallace qualified third for the May 30 Coca-Cola 600 and then finished the 400-lap event in 12th place.
His third place starting spot was his best qualifying effort at the race track formerly known as Charlotte Motor Speedway. His previous best was a 16th place qualifying run for the 1996 Coca-Cola 600.
Wallace's 12th place race finish was also his best finish at Charlotte in 12 career starts. A 13th place run in the 1991 Coca-Cola 600 had been his previous best.
His "bests" at the 1.5-mile oval bumped Wallace from 26th to 24th in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series point standings heading into the June 6 MBNA Platinum 400 at Dover (Del.). He currently trails 23rd place Rick Mast by a mere 10 points, 22nd place Kenny Irwin by 22 points and 21st place Kevin Lepage by 27 points.
* * * Concrete surface. High banks. Forty-three NASCAR Winston Cup Series race cars. Is this Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway or Dover (Del.) Downs International Raceway? For Square D Chevrolet driver Kenny Wallace, the Dover mile contains many of the same characteristics that make up the .533-mile Bristol oval.
"Dover hasn't been real good to me," said Wallace, "but I've gotten to where I like the race track. It reminds me of a big Bristol, in that it's a high-speed concrete track. The groove is on the bottom of the track, and if someone gets their right front underneath your left rear, you've got to be able to give. But at the start of the race, if someone gets underneath you, there's usually about 10 cars behind them, and they'll freight train you right to the back. You've got to be smart about when you race someone and when you need to let them go. It's a long race, so you've got to make sure you're there at the end."
As Wallace said, Dover has not been good to him. Of the 800 total laps that he could have completed in the two Winston Cup events held at Dover last season, Wallace was able to complete just 34 of them.
A cut right front tire on lap 32 of the spring race sent the Square D pilot hard into the turn three wall, while an engine failure on just the second lap of the fall event prompted a shocked Wallace to say, "I think I ran the shortest race in the history of motorsports."
Reflecting on his history at Dover, Wallace said, "It used to be that I hated going to Dover. Then about four years ago, I said, 'I've got to get this track conquered.' It's kind of been a love/hate relationship."
Kenny Wallace's Dover Performance Profile -------------------------------- Year Event Start Finish Status/Laps Earnings 1998 MBNA Platinum 400 31 40 Accident/32 $17,500 MBNA Gold 400 34 43 Engine/2 $16,355 1997 Miller 500 41 27 Running/485 $26,090 MBNA 400 19 38 Running/363 $20,305 1996 Miller 500 9 20 Running/495 $19,315 MBNA 500 18 20 Running/498 $15,965 1994 Splitfire 500 7 20 Running/494 $20,965 1993 Budweiser 500 35 13 Running/490 $12,950 Splitfire 500 36 16 Running/489 $11,630 1991 Budweiser 500 15 26 Running/478 $11,200