Rain and a wrecked racecar did not deter the Stacker 2/YJ Stinger team from a good run at the "Monster Mile." After completing a few laps on Saturday, Kenny Wallace and the Stacker 2 team had to wait a day before they could finish the Busch...
Rain and a wrecked racecar did not deter the Stacker 2/YJ Stinger team from a good run at the "Monster Mile." After completing a few laps on Saturday, Kenny Wallace and the Stacker 2 team had to wait a day before they could finish the Busch Series event at Dover International Speedway. To make its Monday morning even more interesting, the team had to fix the No. 23, which was hit during an early caution period before the rain halted the race at lap 28 on Saturday.
The Stacker 2 team came to Dover with "Mo" on its side. After finishing in the top 10 in five out of the last six races, the team had both confidence and momentum. Wallace was pleased with the car after the first practice session on Friday. He said the car had very good balance, and he could drive it anywhere he wanted on the track. With rain in the weather forecast, the team decided to focus on race setup.
That decision affected the Stacker 2/YJ Stinger team's qualifying effort. Track conditions changed, making the car's handling loose. Wallace qualified in the 17th position.
"The car is very good in race mode, but we did not elect to work on qualifying setups because of the threat of rain," Wallace said. "Chris [Rice, crew chief] and I talked this morning and knew that we could get to the front, so we were not concerned about where we started."
When the green flag flew on Saturday, every team knew the rain was coming. The first caution flew on lap five. Wallace reported that the car felt good despite having fallen one position. Eight laps later, the yellow flag was displayed again for an incident in turn two. Wallace thought he had missed the wreck, but Shane Hmiel's car hit Wallace's machine in the right-rear quarter panel. The race was held under yellow flag conditions for 10 laps until rain prompted the red flag on lap 28. NASCAR officials decided to resume the race on Monday morning.
The race resumed under caution on Monday, giving the Stacker 2/YJ Stinger team an opportunity to bring the car to pit road and repair the damage. NASCAR rules state that cars can not receive service under red flag conditions. Wallace brought the car to pit road on lap 30, where the team gave the car four fresh tires and fuel and secured the spoiler and right-rear quarter panel.
The race restarted on lap 32 with Wallace in the 28th position. The caution flew again on lap 35, and Wallace returned the car to the pits. They Stacker 2 crew put racing fuel into the car and made a track bar adjustment to help Wallace with the car's loose handling condition. Wallace restarted 29th on lap 40.
Wallace reported that the car's handling was loose as he entered the turns. Another caution on lap 70 gave the team time to fix the car's handling. The crew gave the car four tires, fuel and a significant track bar adjustment before the restart on lap 76.
The changes remedied Wallace's situation somewhat, but the car still handled loose upon entry of the turns. Wallace overcame the handling woes and had moved to 23rd by lap 90. A fast two-tire stop under caution on lap 110 advanced Wallace to 10th for the restart.
Wallace struggled to stay in the top 10, as cars that had taken on four fresh tires began to overtake the Stacker 2/YJ Stinger Chevy. The team made its final stop of the day under caution on lap 143. Another quick two-tire change put Wallace in the seventh position.
Wallace battled with the No. 12 and No. 27 cars during the final 50 laps of the 200-lap event. His car was faster than that of his foes, but Wallace ran out of racing room and finished 11th.
"It was a good day for the Stacker 2 team," Wallace said. "We had a wrecked racecar and still came home in the top 15, which is a credit to my team. We knew that we were going to have to use pit strategy and have good pit stops in order to make this day good, and we did. I am looking forward to next week in Nashville."
The No. 23 Stacker 2/YJ Stinger team returns to Nashville, Tenn., to race under the lights at the 1.5-mile Nashville Superspeedway. The race begins at 7:30 p.m. CDT June 12. It will be broadcast live on FX (TV) and MRN (radio).