Homestead: Dodge - Kenny Wallace interview

KENNY WALLACE (No. 23 Hills Bros Coffee Dodge Intrepid R/T) NOTE: Wallace competed in his 10th race of the season last Sunday at Phoenix for car owner Bill Davis and finished 11th. For the second straight race, Wallace drove the highest...

KENNY WALLACE (No. 23 Hills Bros Coffee Dodge Intrepid R/T)

NOTE: Wallace competed in his 10th race of the season last Sunday at Phoenix for car owner Bill Davis and finished 11th. For the second straight race, Wallace drove the highest finishing Dodge. Wallace finished 13th at Rockingham in the No. 23 Hills Bros Dodge Intrepid R/T. The 39-year-old driver from St. Louis will make Winston Cup career start No. 264 Sunday at Homestead. Wallace has two runner-up finishes to his credit, but his goal is to join the list of first-time winners on Sunday.

"Homestead is a different type of race track. It's definitely one of hardest race tracks we go to because the corners are so long. You've got to be getting on the gas when you're still in the corners. The hardest thing to do is making it get going around the corner. When you start picking up the gas in these cars they want to start pushing or getting loose. There's so much corner to deal with at that race track and so much speed to be made up.

"It was a little bit of a disappointment this year because we felt Steve Park was going to be out all year long and I would get to drive the 1 car. All-in-all it's been a great year. The only thing I've really been disappointed in is that I haven't had a chance to win a Busch race this year. I haven't even been close. I don't care for that. I've got a good team over there. Looks like we're going to finish in the top 10 in the points. You never know what's around the corner. It looks like I've got direction now.

"It looks like things have already come together here at Bill Davis Racing for us. Look at our finishes and we've had four good runs and three we weren't proud of. I think we've got a good team. The key is to keep working hard and testing and that's what we've been doing. Working hard means you're trying to figure out why you're not as good as you need to be. We've been testing and working hard. I need their help for Charlotte and Atlanta. Those two tracks give me trouble. Everywhere else, I think we're good to go. I qualify and run decent at Charlotte, but Atlanta is a bad track for me. That's the one we've got to overcome. We've got to get down and work hard for Atlanta.

"A lot of good things have happened to me this year. Obviously getting with this Bill Davis Dodge team stands out. I think we're going to keep improving and have some really good runs next season. Another highlight of my year that gave me a lot of personal satisfaction was taking an ARCA car to the Brickyard 400 without testing and qualifying 28th. That was pretty incredible. We had not tested the car. It was a one-year old car that was built for Winston Cup the year before that was given to Ernie Irvan in ARCA. We took it back and went to the Brickyard. I really wanted to make the race bad just because I'd never missed the race. We made it solid, and I think that was pretty cool.

"I love racing, but I'm ready to do something different. The off-season is going to be busy, but I'm going to do a lot of relaxing, too. As soon as Homestead is over, we're going to do the Busch banquet and then we're going to have Thanksgiving and go on a cruise. We're going on a seven-day deal, flying to Hawaii and get on a cruise ship and visit all the islands. I'm going to spend a lot of time in St. Louis watching the Blues and Rams and spend a little time at home. January will pop up quick and we'll start testing. Hockey is an OK sport, and I want to start doing some different things. Before you know it, these years will fly by. I'm so busy with racing, I've got to see what else is out there.

"You're going to start seeing a lot more commercials with the Stacker 2. They're coming out with a new product in January. The color of our Winston Cup Dodge will reflect the color of their new product. It'll be a lot of fun. The new product will be a line of food and it's pretty awesome. The car is dayglo orange and yellow; When I first looked at it, it reminded me of Jeff Gordon's first car.

"I like doing the commercials. I think I know what they're trying to get across. I've been schooled so hard for a sponsor to get the return for their dollars. I take it very seriously. I know if they're not happy they're not going to stay. I really want Stacker 2 to stay. From what everybody tells me, the commercials have been a big hit. The president of the company told me they are selling more product than they've ever dreamed of because of all that. It's been a good deal."

DODGE GARAGE NOTES - Bill Elliott is the defending champion of the Miami 400. He won last year's race from the pole, leading 59 laps en route to the checkered flag.... Casey Atwood qualified second and finished third last year at Homstead. He led the race for 52 laps.... John Andretti, who qualified second last week at Phoenix, has qualified second and third in three attempts at Homestead... Greg Biffle will drive the No. 44 Petty Enterprises Dodge Intrepid R/T at Homestead.


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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers John Andretti , Bill Elliott , Jeff Gordon , Ernie Irvan , Kenny Wallace , Greg Biffle , Casey Atwood