Wally Dallenbach Daytona Preview

Veteran crew chief Tony Furr says driver Wally Dallenbach just needs a break to put the No. 25 Budweiser Chevrolet up front in Saturday night's Pepsi 400 NASCAR Winston Cup race at Daytona International Speedway. Furr got a break...

Veteran crew chief Tony Furr says driver Wally Dallenbach just needs a break to put the No. 25 Budweiser Chevrolet up front in Saturday night's Pepsi 400 NASCAR Winston Cup race at Daytona International Speedway. Furr got a break in last year's race, but it was the kind he doesn't want to experience again. The first race under the lights at Daytona last October wasn't one Furr likes to remember. He fell off the pit wall and broke his leg during the race. "Nothing like that has ever happened to me before," Furr said. "I played sports all my life and never got hurt. I figured I'd heal quick, but three months after it happened, I thought 70 percent was pretty good. "I'm going to say it's 80-85 percent now. After awhile, it takes a long time to start getting better. The doctor told me when I first broke it it would probably be a year before I was back up and running like I was supposed to be. At first I didn't think that would happen. He knows more than I know because that's exactly what's happening." Furr remembers the accident like it was yesterday, but it's been about ninth months. "I was on top of pit wall and there was a tire behind me," Furr said. "I was sitting on the tire, and I got off, and I guess one of the guys rolled the tire up on top of the wall. I went to get off the wall to go get everything ready for the pit. When I did, I stepped in the thing that holds the tire up. "It's a fold-up deal and it closed on me. It was like a steel trap then. It's 18 inches off the ground. That meant I was 18 inches off the ground with one leg and not expecting it. It threw me. There was nothing to grab hold of to catch myself on. When it came down, all my weight was on it. It snapped it right in half. "I don't really have any problems now, but you just know it's there." The accident put the brakes on Furr's position the rest of the season, but he only missed the next race. "I thought I was going to Phoenix the following week, but I was hurting too bad to go to Phoenix," Furr said. "That's the only race I missed. I wasn't really capable of doing what I was supposed to do at all the races because of the medications and pain I was in, but I was there." Furr, Dallenbach and the Budweiser team plan to let everyone know they're at Daytona. Dallenbach finished 12th in February's Daytona 500. He qualified seventh and finished eighth in last year's Pepsi 400. Racing under the lights on a hot July Saturday night in the Sunshine State is appealing to Dallenbach and Furr. "I hope the sun's out all day and blisters the track," Furr said. "We'll be ready for it. We're taking a car we ran at Talladega. We qualified and ran good with it at Talladega. We feel like we'll do good at Daytona. "The engine guys have come up with more motor. We've fluffed and buffed on the car a little more, and we feel like we'll be a top-10 qualifier and top-10 runner. "I like the night racing because it's cooler if nothing else. The track isn't quite as greasy. It's still Daytona on July 4th, but it's not quite as greasy. "The last car we had at Daytona hit on some of the bumps. It seems like the July race, I don't know if it's the heat or what, but it brings the asphalt up and makes the track think it's rougher. We felt like a little more clearance would help us. "A good run helps team morale and everything. It helps the driver's confidence, everything. Our team is really coming together. The pit stops have picked up quite a bit. At Michigan, they averaged 16.48 all day long. That's winning material right there. They've been good at other tracks, too. The wreck at Pocono didn't help things, but we felt like we had a top-10 or a top-five car right there. We qualified up front, and we were running up front. "I have started in the back and come to the front at Daytona. If your driver is a good drafter, you can do it, but it makes life a lot easier and you don't have to worry about all the potential wrecks if you start up front. "Wally drafts real well. We've had some success there, but we've just had some little things bite us. That's been our problem. I think it's our time to do the biting now."

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About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Wally Dallenbach