Kenny Wallace considers Talladega 'a vacation'. HIGH POINT, NC (April 1, 2003) -- Most drivers don't consider running speeds close to 200 M.P.H. a vacation, but Kenny Wallace, driver of the No. Stacker 2 Dodge for Bill Davis Racing, does when he...
Kenny Wallace considers Talladega 'a vacation'.
HIGH POINT, NC (April 1, 2003) -- Most drivers don't consider running speeds close to 200 M.P.H. a vacation, but Kenny Wallace, driver of the No. Stacker 2 Dodge for Bill Davis Racing, does when he races at Talladega.
"Racing at Talladega is like a vacation for me," said Wallace. "For starters, racing there is just plain fun. I don't know what it is about the track, but it has always been good to me. I've had five top-10s in my last nine races there and I should've had a fifth-place finish in last spring's event, but NASCAR deemed I passed below the yellow line, so that finish didn't stand.
"I've been very lucky to have been in really good equipment when I've raced at Talladega," said Wallace. "You have to have a car owner that is committed to having a top-notch superspeedway program, and the owners I've raced for in the past have had impressive programs and I've been able to log a lot of great finishes there."
Vacations tend to produce many happy memories and Wallace has one that sticks out in his mind.
"My favorite memory at Talladega was my second-place finish to Dale Earnhardt," said Wallace. "That was just too cool. With less than 10 laps to go in the event, 'Big E' and I restarted the race dead last. As NASCAR waved the white flag, I was pushing him to lead. I really don't remember too much about the race but what I remember most happened after the race and it was hearing Dale's voice over the track loudspeaker thanking me for sticking with him and crediting me for his victory. That race had such a frantic ending and the next few weeks the media called it Dale's greatest superspeedway victory of all time. That win really was his legacy and it is so ironic because neither of us dreamed we'd finish in the top-10 that day after starting that far back with so few laps."
When you go on vacation, you tend to have a different outlook than the rest of the time and Wallace eagerly anticipates superspeedway races.
"There are a lot of drivers that won't admit it, but they could care less about superspeedway racing, but not me," said Wallace. "I feel like having a positive mental attitude and determination is essential in running well. You can't go into the race thinking that you might wreck. You never know where you are going to finish. I feel like I have ability to run up front and win and part of that is timing things right so you are in the right place when the checkered flag flies. You can't do that if you're dreading 'The Big One.'
"I've been very fortunate and lucky to have been in such good equipment in the past and it is no different at Bill Davis Racing. Their superspeedway program is awesome and I have a lot of faith in Terry Elledge and his motor program. He's the best and I wouldn't trade him for the world. I feel like we'll have a great shot this weekend and I'd love to take my Stacker 2 Dodge to victory lane."
And what would a vacation be without the sightseeing trip --- through the Talladega infield?
"Let me tell you, Talladega fans are the greatest fans to be around," said Wallace. "But I don't attempt to go through the infield when I'm there because they're having more fun than I can handle. If I didn't have to race, then I'd go out there in a heartbeat and have the time of my life, but I fear that I might never make it back!"