Wally Dallenbach's Chrevolet "Duke" Goes to Las Vegas

Dallenbach standing ‘tall in the saddle’ LAS VEGAS, Nev. -- "We are taking Duke out west, and like John Wayne, we plan to stand tall in the saddle," Budweiser Chevrolet crew chief Tony Furr said. "Duke" is the name of the...

Dallenbach standing ‘tall in the saddle’

LAS VEGAS, Nev. -- "We are taking Duke out west, and like John Wayne, we plan to stand tall in the saddle," Budweiser Chevrolet crew chief Tony Furr said. "Duke" is the name of the Monte Carlo the Budweiser team is taking to Las Vegas Motor Speedway for the Las Vegas 400 on March 7. Driver Wally Dallenbach enters the race ranked ninth in the NASCAR Winston Cup standings after the first two races, and the 35-year-old New Jersey native says the mother lode is the limit in Vegas. “The cars have been great the first two races,” Dallenbach said. “We’re really not happy with either finish because we thought we had a top-five car at Daytona and a top-10 car at Rockingham, but circumstances kept us from finishing higher. “Ninth in the point standings doesn’t really mean much after two races. About 12 races from now if we’re still there, then we’ll start talking about it. We’re just going to keep doing what we’ve been doing.” Furr, a 42-year-old veteran crew chief from Concord, N.C., likes what he’s seen in the first two races and can’t wait to invade Nevada. "We feel real good about the car we're taking to Las Vegas," Furr said. "This car is aerodynamically-balanced, a real good car for a track like Las Vegas. You need a lot of downforce to run well at Vegas, and we feel real good about how this car will perform out west." Furr says the key to running well at the 1.5-mile track is "finding a good balance. You've got to get through the corners in a manner where you can get back on the gas quickly. The setup is a lot more like Phoenix or Indy than Charlotte. Wally seems to run real well on flat tracks. That is another reason we feel good about Duke.” Adds Dallenbach, "I really love running at Las Vegas. It is nice and wide and you can race side-by-side. It’s a track where the tires don't give up quickly. "Tony and I seem to have a real good feel for flat tracks. That is another reason why I am really looking forward to Las Vegas. I believe we can have a real good day out there." For the first time in his NASCAR Winston Cup career, Dallenbach occupies a spot among the top 10 in the race for the Winston Cup championship. Dallenbach opened the year with a 12th-place finish in the Daytona 500 and followed that up with a 17th in the Dura-Lube/Big Kmart 400 at North Carolina Speedway. "We actually should have finished better in both races," says Dallenbach. "We had a legitimate shot at a top five at Daytona. The car was that good, but the last set of tires made the car too tight, and I wasn't able to run it wide open on the bottom like I had been. “At Rockingham, for some reason, the car just wouldn't run on new tires. For the first 10-12 laps, I would get killed. Then they would start coming back to me. We passed a lot of cars, but all those yellows at the end killed us. We needed a long green at the end, 60-70 laps. If we had, we would have finished 11th or 12th. "It's a good feeling to be in the top 10 in the points," added the driver of the Budweiser Chevrolet. "Now we just need to stay there. It's so hard to make up points if you get off to a bad start. The guy who finished ninth last year averaged a 15th-place finish, so if we can just keep doing what we're doing, we've got a shot at staying up there." Hendrick Motorsports teammate Terry Labonte finished ninth in the 1998 NASCAR Winston Cup point standings. For the year, Labonte’s average finish was 16.5.

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Wally Dallenbach , Terry Labonte
Teams Hendrick Motorsports