Dallenbach hopes for change of luck at Talladega TALLADEGA, Ala. (Oct. 8, 1998) Wally Dallenbach and the Budweiser Chevrolet team hope the wind blows in the right direction in the draft on Sunday at Talladega Superspeedway. Itching to race on ...
Dallenbach hopes for change of luck at Talladega
TALLADEGA, Ala. (Oct. 8, 1998) Wally Dallenbach and the Budweiser Chevrolet team hope the wind blows in the right direction in the draft on Sunday at Talladega Superspeedway. Itching to race on NASCAR's superspeedways in the Hendrick Motorsports Monte Carlo, Dallenbach says the Talladega draft may be just what the doctor ordered to shed the monkey that's been riding shotgun with him the past few weeks. "I'm comfortable racing at Talladega, and I'm comfortable in the draft," Dallenbach said. "We just need to get the monkey off our backs. We keep leaving good finishes on the table. We had a top-five car at Charlotte and Martinsville, and we had a top-10 car at Darlington, but we keep beating ourselves. It's time for the wind to blow the other way. "We had a good and bad test at Talladega. We had a beautiful, new car that we tested for a day and a half, and we just couldn't get it up to speed. So we brought out Old Faithful and on the first lap it was as fast as we'd been in almost two days of testing with the new car. That was a little disheartening because we'd worked so hard on the new car, but the secondary car will be the car we run at Talladega and Daytona. The new car will be the backup." Dallenbach has two top-10 finishes in 13 starts at the 2.66-mile track. With 33-degree bankings, Talladega is NASCAR's biggest and fastest track. Dallenbach's Hendrick Motorsports teammate, Terry Labonte, is the defending champion of the fall event at Talladega, and Dallenbach knows it doesn't hurt to have a teammate or a friend close by in the high-speed draft. "All we need to do to win at Talladega is put ourselves in position to win," Dallenbach said. "There are a lot of guys out there I can work with, and I can work with my two teammates, too. I've pushed a few guys into the lead a couple of times and they went on to win the race, so I hope they don't forget that. If we can qualify and run in the top-five or top-10, I think we've got a good shot to win. "I draft well with Mark Martin and Ricky Rudd, Sterling Marlin and Terry Labonte. It's always the same guys you know won't hang you out. We each know that the other guy won't do anything stupid. You can't make any deals before the race because things change so quickly. You just know if you help your buddies, they'll help you when it comes down to it. "We just need to get a good starting spot and stay out of the big one. There really doesn't have to be a big one. It's not inevitable that half the field will be involved in a crash. Some guys just don't use their heads, but we're all big boys and we can race at Talladega without wrecking. It takes patience." Patience and a lot of horsepower. Hendrick Motorsports will supply the horsepower for the Budweiser Chevrolet. Patience is up to the driver and crew, and Dallenbach's crew chief, Tony Furr, knows how important patience becomes down the stretch at Talladega.
"It's a demanding race, and the driver has to be on his toes all day," Furr said. "Wally has really been looking forward to these superspeedway races, and I think we'll have a good car for him. I think we're overdue for a break, so we're looking for a good day on Sunday. "Patience, patience, patience. That's what it's all about. That's what they tell you in the drivers meeting before each restrictor-plate race. If you just touch someone at the speeds they're going, its hard to recover." Like some other drivers, Dallenbach won't be concerned about points. He just wants to win the race. "When we start winning and are competitive every week, then we'll be concerned about the points," Dallenbach said. "Only a couple of guys are really concerned about points right now, and the rest of us want to win. I've never been in a Hendrick Motorsports Chevy on a superspeedway before, and I'm really looking forward to it. When I drove for Bud Moore, we had some good superspeedway cars. It was a lot of fun because I had a lot of car. "I expect the Hendrick Chevrolet to be even stronger. This will be the best chance I've ever had to qualify in the top-10. It'd be nice to get a pole so I could be in the Bud Shootout next season, but if you can't get the pole, you want to qualify in the top-10 or top-15 so you don't have to play catchup all day. It's a lot more comfortable, especially at Talladega and Daytona, when you're running up front."
Source: NASCAR Online