Kenny Wallace, AutoZone Race Team Bring Home Third Top-10 Finish of the Season (WEST ALLIS, Wis.) June 24, 2006 -- Kenny Wallace and the No. 22 AutoZone Ford Fusion race team crossed the start / finish line in the eighth position Saturday night,...
Kenny Wallace, AutoZone Race Team Bring Home Third Top-10 Finish of the Season
(WEST ALLIS, Wis.) June 24, 2006 -- Kenny Wallace and the No. 22 AutoZone Ford Fusion race team crossed the start / finish line in the eighth position Saturday night, matching their eighth-place finishes at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway and the spring race at Nashville Superspeedway earlier this year.
"We weren't so sure how well we would perform going into qualifying and the race on Saturday," said Wallace. "The AutoZone Ford team brought a brand new chassis and I just wasn't happy with the way it was set up during the practice sessions. The team ended up changing everything but the seat before I took to the track for qualifying."
The changes proved to be a success when Wallace hit the track for qualifying; he turned the seventh-quickest lap time at 29.721 sec., a speed of 121.126 mph. With Wallace and the No. 22 AutoZone Ford Fusion placed solidly in the 41-car field, the team regained its confidence and looked forward to a strong showing in the race later that evening.
Wallace moved up to the third position prior to the green flag due to the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup drivers going to the rear of the field. Early in the race, Wallace reported in a neutral car that was a little tight in the middle. He was able to hold on to a top-10 position until Lap 61 when he radioed in, "My tires are gone! I'm doing everything I can do to maintain position!"
Tire relief would come not too long after, when Wallace brought the No. 22 AutoZone Ford Fusion down pit road on Lap 64 for four fresh tires, fuel and air pressure and track bar adjustments. Wallace restarted in 11th and would bring the AutoZone Ford down pit road again under caution on Lap 92 for minor adjustments to help free the car up.
"The AutoZone Ford was good, just a little too tight to start out with," said Crew Chief, Todd Gordon. "We made some minor adjustments throughout the night so overall Kenny was happy with the car."
Midway through the 250-mile event, Wallace continued to prove to be a strong contender for a top-10 finish, never leaving the top 15 in the race. Two more pit stops were made on Laps 124 and 207 to help resolve the tight handling condition.
Sitting in the 10th position with 40 laps remaining, Wallace tightened his belts and held on for what would prove to be a wild ending under the lights at The Milwaukee Mile. Falling back to the 13th position, Wallace would do some quick maneuvering on Lap 247 to avoid an accident involving the leaders. With a green / white / checkered restart, Wallace would bring the No. 22 AutoZone Ford across the finish line in the eighth position.
The top-10 finish at Milwaukee marks Wallace's third eight-place finish of the year for the No. 22 AutoZone Ford Fusion race team. The top-10 finish moved Wallace up to ninth in the NASCAR Busch Series driver points standings heading into Daytona International Speedway next Friday night.