Race Recap: Indianapolis Raceway Park proved to be a track that Kenny Wallace and the entire Stacker 2Â®/YJ Stinger team have come to love. Not only did the team score its seventh top-10 finish of the 2004 campaign in Saturday's Kroger 200, but...
Race Recap: Indianapolis Raceway Park proved to be a track that Kenny Wallace and the entire Stacker 2®/YJ Stinger team have come to love. Not only did the team score its seventh top-10 finish of the 2004 campaign in Saturday's Kroger 200, but Wallace had a strong showing in his 300th career Busch Series start.
The team came to IRP with high hopes of a strong finish after last years' showing, in which the Stacker 2®/YJ Stinger Chevy competed in the top five all night. With veteran driver Wallace behind the wheel, the team knew it could battle up front. Wallace practiced the car Saturday morning and reported to the crew that the car was turning well through the center but could use a little more bite off the corner. The team made changes to the Stacker 2®/YJ Stinger car, which made the car very strong in practice. Crew chief Chris Rice believed the car would be competitive during the race.
Wallace qualified the car under very different conditions than when he practiced, which affected the car's ability to get through the corners. The car's loose handling condition dropped its qualifying time considerably to 22.546 seconds, which put him in the 22nd position for the start of the Kroger 200.
The team was disappointed with the qualifying effort, but turned its focus to the race. When the green flag waved over the .67-mile track, Wallace was on a tear to the front. By lap five, he had already passed six cars and was working on cracking the top 15. He reported to his crew on lap six that the car handled a bit loose in the middle of the corner, but he felt like the track would tighten up as the sun set.
Wallace was among the top 15 by lap 30 and was headed for the top 10. The caution flag waved on lap 50, and the Stacker 2 ® team elected to pit the No. 23 Chevy. The team gave the car four tires and fuel on lap 53. It also made air pressure and wedge adjustments to help the attitude of the car through the corners. Wallace restarted 13th on lap 56.
During the next 25 laps, Wallace was embedded in a battle with Robby Gordon. The two battled side-by-side for position lap after lap. Wallace finally gained the position on lap 105.
The caution flag flew on lap 109. Wallace and his team talked about the changes they were planning to make when Wallace brought the car to the pits on lap 112. The team put a spring rubber in the left-rear of the car in addition to giving the car four tires and fuel.
The race restarted on lap 116, and Wallace was in 15th. A slew of cautions throughout the middle of the race allowed Wallace to move into the top 10. By lap 150, Wallace was in the sixth position and banging on the door of the top five.
The final caution of the evening occurred on lap 155. Rice elected to keep Wallace on the track while the other competitors pitted. Wallace restarted fourth on lap 160. He battled with other drivers for the next 40 laps and brought the Stacker 2®/YJ Stinger car home in the ninth position.
The Stacker 2®/YJ Stinger team's effort helped propel Wallace to 11th in the driver points, only 26 points outside the top 10.
NEXT EVENT: The Stacker 2/YJ Stinger Team has the week off before returning to action Saturday, Aug. 21 at Michigan International Speedway.