Wallace Finishes 16th in Phoenix AVONDALE, Ariz. (April 22) -- Stacker 2 Racing driver Kenny Wallace finished 16th Friday night in Phoenix after starting 12th. Friday night's race was the first under the lights at Phoenix International Raceway...
Wallace Finishes 16th in Phoenix
AVONDALE, Ariz. (April 22) -- Stacker 2 Racing driver Kenny Wallace finished 16th Friday night in Phoenix after starting 12th. Friday night's race was the first under the lights at Phoenix International Raceway and contained 14 cautions, breaking the previous record of nine at the track.
The 16th-place finish was good enough to keep Wallace in fourth place in the standings, 330 points behind Carl Edwards, who maintained first place.
"This car just did not respond to any adjustments we made," Wallace said. "I don't think we will see this car again. The best opportunity we had was to wait 'til the end and put on new tires and that still wasn't good enough. I had an opportunity to finish 10th or 11th, and I couldn't catch them with the new tires. It's just very disappointing."
The Stacker 2 Racing team spent all day Thursday working on the car, trying to make it competitive for Friday's night race. In the final 10 minutes of the last practice session, everyone believed they had gotten the car set up correctly, and Wallace was running top-10 practice speeds. With the new found setup, Wallace qualified 12th.
By the time the green flag waved that night, the track conditions had changed so much that the car was difficult to drive. Pit strategy allowed Wallace to climb into the top-10 by lap 30, but he fell back to 12th before pitting under caution on lap 42.
Wallace pitted with most of the field, and thanks to excellent work by his pit crew, he was sixth out of the pits. After making adjustments during the pit, Wallace's car had gotten a lot better and was handling the best it had all weekend.
By the mid-point of the race, Wallace was running fifth and posting his fastest laps of the day. The team made what it hoped would be its final stop of the day on lap 106, and Wallace restarted 14th after making air pressure and track bar adjustments to the Stacker 2 Ford.
With less than 50 laps left, Wallace was running seventh, but the team knew the car was not good enough to finish in the top-10. The call was made to pit with less than 40 laps remaining to put on new tires. Wallace was hoping the new tires would allow him to be fast enough to get back into the top-15 by the end of the race.
After restarting 24th on lap 167, Wallace was 15th with 10 laps remaining. The closing laps featured side-by-side racing between Wallace and Paul Menard for the 15th position. Unfortunately, Wallace was unable to hold off Menard and finished the day 16th.
The next Busch Series race is Saturday, April 30, at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway. FOX-TV and MRN radio will provide live coverage, beginning at 2 p.m. EDT.