Race Recap: Kenny Wallace and the Stacker 2/YJ Stinger team came to The Milwaukee Mile with high hopes of breaking their bad luck streak of the past two weeks, but more bad luck and an ill-handling race car caused the Stacker 2/YJ Stinger team to...
Race Recap: Kenny Wallace and the Stacker 2/YJ Stinger team came to The Milwaukee Mile with high hopes of breaking their bad luck streak of the past two weeks, but more bad luck and an ill-handling race car caused the Stacker 2/YJ Stinger team to have a long night at Milwaukee.
During the first practice session, the No. 23 appeared to be a car that could compete for the win at end of the night. Wallace reported to crew chief Chris Rice that the car handled a little tight entering the corners, but he felt the changing weather would help correct the problem. Teams practiced during the afternoon and raced at night.
The second practice session was used to set up the car for the race. Wallace said after the final practice session that the car handled well, and he was optimistic about his chance to win.
"The Stacker 2 Chevrolet is pretty good," Wallace said. "It is a little tight going into [turn] one, but with the weather changes that are going to occur during the next couple of hours, I think that we have a hot rod that will be up front."
Wallace was the 42nd driver to attempt to qualify. The team felt this late attempt would be advantageous, since the track would cool to near-race conditions by the time Wallace qualified. Wallace put forth a solid effort, placing the Stacker 2/YJ Stinger Chevrolet in the 14th position.
With only four laps completed in the Alan Kulwicki 250, Wallace reported the car handled loose in the middle of the corner. By lap 27, he said the car handled loose going into the corner and tight off, causing him to lose valuable track position. Rice had already developed a plan to help fix those conditions during the first pit stop. Wallace went a lap down to the race leader on lap 56, and Rice had Wallace pit on lap 67.
The Stacker 2/YJ Stinger crew changed four tires and put fuel in the car, while making drastic air pressure, wedge and track bar adjustments. Wallace was the first driver to pit, so the team tried to strategically place Wallace back into the top 10. Wallace lost another lap under caution on lap 77, but he said the adjustments had improved the car's handling.
Wallace pitted for four tires and fuel on lap 79. He restarted 28th on lap 83, only to see the caution flag waved again one lap later. Wallace gained one position for the lap 88 restart.
Wallace reported on lap 115 that the car handled tight in the middle and off the corners. The lap 117 caution gave the Stacker 2/YJ Stinger team another chance to improve the car. The team gave the car four tires, fuel and track bar and air pressure adjustments. Wallace retained the 27th position for the lap 122 restart.
Twenty laps passed and Wallace reported the handling was still no better. He fell another lap down to leader Shane Hmiel on lap 178. The Stacker 2/YJ Stinger team knew the only way to return to the lead lap was to short pit. Wallace pitted on lap 182 for two tires and fuel. The team also made more track bar and air pressure adjustments.
Another caution 12 laps later put Wallace four laps down. The Stacker 2/YJ Stinger team performed another two-tire stop on lap 197. Wallace restarted in 26th on lap 199.
During the last 50 laps, Wallace gained one spot and finished 25th, four laps behind race winner Ron Hornaday.
"We missed the set up tonight, which made for a long night," Wallace said. "I tell you, we can not buy any luck the past few weeks. We come in tonight and short pitted, and the caution flies. We try it again late in the race, and the caution comes out. I am looking forward to getting this monkey off our backs and getting us back into the top 10 in points and getting this team to victory lane."
NEXT EVENT: The No. 23 Stacker 2 Chevy returns the hallowed grounds of Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway for the Winn Dixie 250 under the lights. The race will be televised live on FX. Check listings for local times.