CHARLOTTE, N.C., (Oct. 5, 1999) - Bent sheet metal, hot tempers and tenacious driving were all a part of last Sunday's NAPA AutoCare 500 at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway, and Square D Chevrolet driver Kenny Wallace endured it all. He was in a ...
CHARLOTTE, N.C., (Oct. 5, 1999) - Bent sheet metal, hot tempers and tenacious driving were all a part of last Sunday's NAPA AutoCare 500 at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway, and Square D Chevrolet driver Kenny Wallace endured it all. He was in a constant battle for the top spot throughout the 500-lap event, leading twice for 55 laps. When the tire smoke cleared and the checkered flag finally fell, Wallace crossed the stripe in fifth for his second top-five finish of the season.
"You had guys racing for a top-five and guys racing for eighth and ninth," said Wallace. "Everyone was in their right. It was just Martinsville. I'm really proud of my crew chief (Jimmy Elledge). We took a gamble to try to win this race. These races are too hard to win playing follow the leader to the pits all the time. But hey, this is Winston Cup. We'll take a top-five in Winston Cup." * * * In his first race at Lowe's Motor Speedway with Andy Petree Racing, Square D Chevrolet driver Kenny Wallace drove to a solid 12th place finish after starting third. His qualifying effort and race performance in the Coca-Cola 600 were track-bests for Wallace - a stark turnaround from years of struggle at the 1.5-mile oval.
"It was my first experience with a different team, and they were able to give me what I'd always been looking for," said Wallace. "It had a lot to do with the shock package, and thanks to the RAD program, where the body was mounted on the race car. I just had a good feel to the car as soon as I hit the track. When you give Kenny Wallace a good feel, he's able to get more out of the race car. I was able to get a lot more aggressive than I had ever been before.
"The RAD program really showed at Charlotte back in May. Every car in the program qualified in the top-10. They've done a great job in developing our current car, but the emphasis has shifted to developing the 2000 Monte Carlo. With that in mind, we can't afford to spend anymore time on our current car. But we know what worked back in May, and we know what we've learned since then. So, we expect to be better.
"My only concern is that we've wrecked most of our intermediate cars," continued Wallace. "At Indy, we wrecked a car in testing. We got wrecked at Pocono (Pa.). Then we got run over at Darlington (S.C.). But my guys have done a helluva job in putting those cars back together. My Charlotte car is the same car we had at Darlington. It's a good race car, so hopefully it'll come back even stronger."
Kenny Wallace's Charlotte Performance Profile ---------------------------
Year Event Start Finish Status/Laps Earnings 1999 Coca-Cola 600 3 12 Running/398 $52,300 1998 Coca-Cola 600 42 25 Running/398 $28,700 UAW-GM 500 30 16 Running/333 $25,400 1997 Coca-Cola 600 23 39 Accident/192 $25,400 UAW-GM 500 26 28 Running/330 $23,150 1996 Coca-Cola 600 16 32 Engine/332 $8,445 UAW-GM 500 41 30 Running/325 $8,365 1995 Coca-Cola 600 37 31 Rear End/333 $6,750 1994 Mello Yello 500 21 14 Running/332 $22,100 1993 Coca-Cola 600 24 23 Running/392 $10,000 Mello Yello 500 42 35 Running/304 $5,975 1991 Coca-Cola 600 19 13 Running/398 $17,700