CHARLOTTE, N.C., (July 6, 1999) - After Saturday night's running of the Pepsi 400 at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway, Square D Chevrolet driver Kenny Wallace found himself pointed in the right direction. Wallace moved up two positions in...
CHARLOTTE, N.C., (July 6, 1999) - After Saturday night's running of the Pepsi 400 at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway, Square D Chevrolet driver Kenny Wallace found himself pointed in the right direction.
Wallace moved up two positions in the championship point standings to 23rd by way of his 15th place finish. But more importantly, he is now just 64 points away from breaking into the top-20.
The 41st annual Pepsi 400 proved to be a solid outing for the No. 55 team of Andy Petree Racing, especially considering they used their backup car for the race. The primary car was crashed in the waning hours of the weekend's first practice session, and the team had to work hard to prep the backup in time for its qualifying run. With no practice time behind the wheel of his backup, Wallace qualified a respectable 28th. For the race, Wallace dealt with an ill-handling race car. But quick pit work and smart driving enabled Wallace to finish in the top-15.
"Overall, it was a good run," said Wallace. "The car didn't handle real well, but the guys gave me a real fast race car. We survived - that's a big thing here. We're not happy with the run, but we're able to go to next week with some good points. We outran some guys who had to roll their backups out too (Mark Martin - 17th). So, I'm proud of my team." * * *
The U.S. Hockey Team's gold medal win over Russia in the 1980 Olympics. Northwestern University's march to the Rose Bowl in 1995. And what every New Englander will forever remember - the 1984 hail-mary pass from Boston College's Doug Flutie to receiver Gerard Phelan in the game's final seconds to beat the heavily favored and defending champion Miami Hurricanes 47-45 at the Orange Bowl.
Sleepers. Dark Horses. Call them what you will. The bottom line is that these teams performed above and beyond most people's expectations. Just as you would find at any other sporting event, the field for this Sunday's Jiffy Lube 300 at New Hampshire International Speedway in Loudon has some dark horses too.
Take Square D Chevrolet driver Kenny Wallace. He has a NASCAR Busch Series, Grand National Division win (1991 Budweiser 200) and pole (1992 Budweiser 200) to his credit at the 1.058-mile oval. In last year's two NASCAR Winston Cup Series events held at the "Magic Mile," Wallace notched top-10 finishes in each event, including a season-best sixth place effort in the fall race. Despite not having a win on his Winston Cup resume, past performances indicate that Wallace can be a factor in the Jiffy Lube 300.
"Loudon is a place where I've always run well," said Wallace. "In both Cup races last year we finished in the top-10, and we were able to lead 30-something laps early on during the second race.
"We're taking back the same type of chassis I had there last year, we've got a good motor, and we're just going to improve upon what we did last year. I feel good about it. Really, it's just a deal where when I go to Loudon, I feel comfortable."
Kenny Wallace's New Hampshire Performance Profile ----------------- Year Event Start Finish Status/Laps Earnings 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