Wally Dallenbach Loudon Preview

Wally Dallenbach has his hands full when it comes to qualifying at New Hampshire International Speedway, so the driver of the No. 25 Budweiser Chevrolet Monte Carlo plans to focus intently on the task at hand Friday during first-round...

Wally Dallenbach has his hands full when it comes to qualifying at New Hampshire International Speedway, so the driver of the No. 25 Budweiser Chevrolet Monte Carlo plans to focus intently on the task at hand Friday during first-round time trials for Sunday's Jiffy Lube 300 at the 1.058-mile track in Loudon, N.H. "All you can do is keep your head down and try to do the job," Dallenbach said. "I enjoy racing at New Hampshire, but I always seem to mess up when it comes to qualifying. I either spin or wreck. "We were either second or third in practice last year for the second race. In qualifying, I hit the wall in turn four. It stuck going into the corner, but it didn't stay stuck. I still made the show. "I like the track a lot. It's like a big Martinsville. I guess I just tend to overdrive the car in qualifying." Dallenbach plans to celebrating after first-round time trials on Friday with a huge lobster for dinner that evening. Although the 36-year-old New Jersey native stands 5-foot-10 and weighs about 170 pounds, Dallenbach claims he can polish off plenty of lobster. "If I'm just going to eat the lobster tails, I like the little ones, but I can sit down to a seven-pounder and eat every bit of it," Dallenbach said. After qualifying and lobster, Dallenbach plans to get down to the primary mission, and that's Sunday's 300-lap race at the Magic Mile. "It's a one-groove track, but you drive it like a short track," Dallenbach said. "There's always a lot of bumping and grinding going on, and the track usually comes apart. They put some sealer on it last year, but we still seem to be able to tear it up. That makes it tougher to race." After 17 of 34 regular-season races in 1999, Dallenbach and company stand 21st in the NASCAR Winston Cup standings. He's coming off a 26th-place finish at Daytona in the Pepsi 400, a disappointing finish after running up front most of the evening. "We had a good car and ran good at Daytona," Dallenbach said. "We ran a lot in the top 10, and we might could have finished there if we hadn't got in that wreck toward the end of the race. I'm not sure what happened. It happened so fast, and everybody was racing hard. "We got stacked up on that last restart, and all I'm sure of with three to go I ended up in the wall. I guess I was running 13th or 14th when that happened. It hit hard, too. The front clip of the car will have to be replaced, so I'm not sure if we'll be able to use it at Talladega or not. "We were racing hard, but you have to do that everywhere you go now. There's no strategy involved anymore. You just have to keep the hammer down and race hard all the time. If the car is good, you can stay up front. If it's not, then you won't. It's pretty much that simple. It's just the nature of the sport right now. You've got to race hard all the time. If you let up, five cars might go past you. You've got to race hard and try to put yourself in position for a good finish. "It's the start of the second half of the season, and I'm really disappointed that we didn't have the finishes in the first half that we should have had. On the other hand, at least we're competitive enough to where we could get the results. We've just got to do better and turn our luck around. "A few weeks ago, we were barely out of 15th and then we slid six spots. We've just got to pick up and keep going. I think we're a top 15 team, but there's probably 30 other teams out there that think they're a top 15 team. You can be two tenths off of the fastest car and at the end of 500 miles, you're two laps down. It's nothing major. Just do the math. That's how close it is. "We're starting the second half of the season, and we really think we can win a race. We'd like to finish in the top 15 in the final standings, too. Those are our two main goals for the second half of the season."

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About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Wally Dallenbach