Charlotte Wally Dallenbach Preview

Dallenbach doesn't understand lame duck label Wally Dallenbach has known for a few races that he won't drive the No. 25 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet next season. Budweiser will not sponsor the car next year. Some critics have stuck the lame...

Dallenbach doesn't understand lame duck label

Wally Dallenbach has known for a few races that he won't drive the No. 25 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet next season. Budweiser will not sponsor the car next year. Some critics have stuck the lame duck label on Dallenbach and the No. 25 Budweiser team. Dallenbach, a 36-year-old New Jersey native, doesn't really understand why.

"The better I do, the better I get paid," Dallenbach said. "That's some incentive. Money does motivate me, and anyone who says it doesn't is not shooting straight.

"Everybody talks about lame duck situations. I just don't see it. Anybody that's a racer, they want to do well no matter what they're going to do the next season. It's going to help them in the future.

"Who wants to just come out here and run? Our team has maintained a level we've had all year long. I feel we'll continue to do that no matter what."

Currently 15th in the NASCAR Winston Cup standings, Dallenbach and the No. 25 Budweiser team will enter Sunday's UAW-GM Quality 500 at Lowe's Motor Speedway near Charlotte, N.C., with the same goals they had at the beginning of the season.

"Everybody is getting paid to do a job," Dallenbach said. "Everybody works just as hard. If you're going to be a professional about this, then you've got to do the best you can, no matter what the circumstances are. That's where you draw the line.

"That separates the professionals from the non-professionals. It's pretty obvious who the professionals are. All you've got to do is see what their work ethic is when things change.

"We've had our problems this season, just like any other team does. People come and go, but the owners and the crew chief and the driver and the crew guys, everybody still wants to win. Whether they're going to be with this team next year, whether I'm going to be with this team or not, whether the sponsor is going to be with this team or not, it doesn't matter.

"It doesn't matter how the car is painted or who's driving the car. It doesn't matter. As long as that car wins, that's the goal."

Dallenbach, a former SCCA champion, is still looking for his first NASCAR Winston Cup victory. He'll also be looking for his first top-10 finish at Lowe's Motor Speedway.

"We've got a shot at Charlotte," Dallenbach said. "It's an aerodynamic track, and the other makes have a little bit of an advantage right now. You've got to have a good handling car there, and if you're off just a little bit, normally two or three guys will check out.

"If your car is that good and you're one of those guys, you've got a shot. If you're not, you start looking at pulling a top five or a top 10 out of it. I feel we've got a top-10 race car. I won't know until after practice or after qualifying is done with and you've got some laps with the race setup, what kind of car you'll have over the long haul." And it's a long haul just getting to that part of the race weekend at the 1.5-mile track.

"It's a good track for us, and the racing end of it is great," Dallenbach said. "We're close to home, but I wish it had a normal schedule like every other race. The Wednesday night qualifying deal may be great for the fans, but it makes for a long week.

"We've run good, but I just don't seem to have good finishes at Charlotte. We've had some mechanical problems there in the past. We'll have a good car, and we've got good horsepower for that track. We could be in the thick of things at Charlotte before all is said and done."

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Wally Dallenbach Sr.
Teams Hendrick Motorsports