Wally Dallenbach

Dallenbach will circle the wagons, head west Wally Dallenbach, driver of the No. 25 Budweiser Chevrolet, left Talladega Superspeedway a little disappointed last Sunday after finishing 20th in the DieHard 500. Once again, Dallenbach...

Dallenbach will circle the wagons, head west Wally Dallenbach, driver of the No. 25 Budweiser Chevrolet, left Talladega Superspeedway a little disappointed last Sunday after finishing 20th in the DieHard 500. Once again, Dallenbach thought crew chief Tony Furr and his Bud Brigade had put together a package capable of finishing in the top 10. "We went to Talladega and had a horrible test, but we went back to the shop and changed everything in the car except the driver's seat," Dallenbach said. "It went from a car that probably couldn't even make the race to a car that had a chance to win it." Dallenbach ran with the leaders most of the day but had problems coming up to speed on green flag restarts later in the race. "I don't know if it was the transmission or what, but it took an extra lap to get up to speed," Dallenbach said. "On that last pit stop, we got four tires and got lined up. I'm sure that hole in the right front quarter panel didn't help, but I got with Sterling Marlin and we caught 'em on the last lap. Of course, it was too late then. Too bad we didn't have another 10 laps to race. "The car was excellent and the stops were pretty good. We had a top-10 car and maybe even a top-five car, but we keep leaving those finishes on the table. It was a stressful day, but all you can do is pick up and go on to the next week. You've just got to make the best of it. If you've got a 20th-place car and finish 20th, that's OK, but if you've got a top-five car and finish 20th, that's a big letdown." Dallenbach managed to jump four spots in the Winston Cup standings from 26th to 22nd. He is only 103 points out of 16th place and primed to make up more ground Sunday in the California 500. Although Dallenbach enjoys side-by-side racing, he says you won't see cars running three and four abreast in the corners at Fontana. "You've got to get out of the gas at Fontana, so the field will get strung out," Dallenbach said. "I think we'll have a pretty good race there. It's a lot like Texas and Las Vegas. It's fast and smooth, but you've got to get a handle on your car there. We won't be going three and four abreast. "This will be my third different team for California, but I'm expecting a lot more this time. We had a good run the first year out there and blew a motor with about 30 laps to go. I sort of just filled in for a driver last year. "We're going to take the car we used at Texas. We'll have good horsepower, and we could be a threat. We didn't test there, but it wasn't because we didn't want to. The way things are now, you only have two or three places you can pick to test. We're going to Sears Point to test after Fontana, and then we'll test at Charlotte. "Heck, I wish they would do away with tests altogether. That would make it even for everybody." Dale Earnhardt won last week's DieHard 500 at Talladega, and Dallenbach said it was good to see the seven-time NASCAR Winston Cup champion back in victory lane. "I get along pretty well with Dale Earnhardt, and I'm glad he won because he's my friend," Dallenbach said. "I'm always happy to see my buddies win. I was happy to see John Andretti win at Martinsville. "People on the other side, if you have one or two bad races, they think you can't drive a lick. They have to realize how competitive it is. If you're a little off, you're going to run bad. Those guys running 20th, 25th and 30th are pretty talented guys, too. The field is so talented now, I'm just honored to be one of the 40 elite in this business. "I don't think anybody is washed up because they had a bad weekend. You don't forget how to drive a race car in that short period of time."

Budweiser Racing

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt , John Andretti , Wally Dallenbach , Sterling Marlin