Race Recap: The Stacker 2/YJ Stinger team's climb through the field in Saturday's Carquest Auto Parts 300 at Lowe's Motor Speedway is representative of the team's climb through the NASCAR Busch Series Championship standings this season. Despite...
Race Recap: The Stacker 2/YJ Stinger team's climb through the field in Saturday's Carquest Auto Parts 300 at Lowe's Motor Speedway is representative of the team's climb through the NASCAR Busch Series Championship standings this season. Despite some early struggles, Kenny Wallace and the No. 23 team have posted five top-10 finishes in the past six races, placing Wallace 10th in the drivers' standings.
Given its performance on Friday, the team was confident about Saturday's race. Wallace qualified the car in the 12th position, then posted the fifth-fastest time in the final practice session. The car steadily gained speed, and Wallace was comfortable with its handling.
Although the green flag for the Carquest Auto Parts 300 waved under a sunny sky, a black cloud of bad luck loomed over the Stacker 2/YJ Stinger Chevrolet. With only eight laps of the 200-lap event completed, Wallace said the car handled extremely tight. He fell to the 15th position and remained near that position throughout the first quarter of the race.
Crew chief Chris Rice called Wallace to pit road during the second caution period. On lap 25, the Stacker 2/YJ Stinger team gave the car four tires, fuel and track bar and air pressure adjustments in an effort to loosen the car's handling.
The car did not respond well to the changes. By lap 58, Wallace said it handled so tight he could hardly drive it. He fell to 26th two laps later. The team pitted the car under caution again on lap 74, again giving it four tires, fuel and air pressure and track bar adjustments.
Another caution on lap 101 gave the Stacker 2/YJ Stinger team a chance to work on the car. Rice elected to make adjustments on the track bar and give the car a spring rubber in the left-front spring on lap 105. When that did not work, the team made a series of pit stops under caution on laps 118 to 120. On the first stop, the team gave the car four tires and fuel, then made further adjustments to the track bar. On the second stop (lap 119), the team took the spring rubber out of the left-front spring and put it in the right-front spring. The final stop was a gas-and-go stop, giving the No. 23 Chevrolet enough fuel to finish the race.
A ray of light shined on the team on lap 136. Another caution period brought the majority of the competitors to pit road, boosting Wallace to the sixth position. With a car that was now handling to his liking and excellent track position, Wallace was determined to show how the car was truly capable of performing.
Wallace fell to 14th with 50 laps remaining, but he had finished falling for the day. As the checkered flag drew near, Wallace steadily gained positions. The race ended under caution with Wallace in ninth.
NEXT EVENT: The Stacker 2/YJ Stinger team heads to Dover (Del.) International Speedway for the June 5 MBNA America 200. Dover is a special track for the Stacker 2 family, as the company sponsors the September event there. The race will be broadcast live on FX (television) and MRN (radio).