Homestead Wally Dallenbach Budweiser Team Preview

Dallenbach betting on late-season trifecta Wally Dallenbach hopes the pattern continues after his morale-boosting ninth-place run at Phoenix. The No. 25 Budweiser Chevrolet Monte Carlo team heads to Homestead, Fla., for Sunday's Pennzoil 400...

Dallenbach betting on late-season trifecta

Wally Dallenbach hopes the pattern continues after his morale-boosting ninth-place run at Phoenix.

The No. 25 Budweiser Chevrolet Monte Carlo team heads to Homestead, Fla., for Sunday's Pennzoil 400 NASCAR Winston Cup race with renewed confidence for the final two races of the decade.

Dallenbach scored his fifth top-10 finish of the season at Phoenix and moved to 20th in the NASCAR Winston Cup standings. The 36-year-old former SCCA champion obviously would like to end the season with three strong runs in the Budweiser Chevy.

"It seems like this year we've had three bad weeks before we can have three good weeks," Dallenbach said. "Phoenix was the first good week we've had since we had three bad weeks, so hopefully we can keep it going. We're still trying to win.

"I don't know how many people are betting on us, but we sure haven't given up on ourselves. We had a good test in Atlanta. I have no idea what's going to happen at Homestead, but Homestead is a good, flat race track. I think we can still win one."

Dallenbach made his Winston Cup debut in 1991 and has made 193 starts since then. With 193 career starts, Dallenbach continues to look for his first big-league victory. His career-best finish in the Winston Cup standings came in 1993 when he ended up 22nd. He's been as high as ninth this year, but he won't be worried about points the rest of the way.

"I thought we could win a race with the Budweiser team this season, and I still do," Dallenbach said. "I know time is running out, but we wouldn't be going to the track at all if we didn't think we could win."

An accomplished driver in many different styles of cars -- SCCA, IMSA and NASCAR -- Dallenbach says he's never owned a car.

"For me and for my family, it just hasn't been practical," Dallenbach said. "A Suburban meets all my needs. Even before I was married, I always had pickup trucks. Whether I was hauling stuff for my race car or going motorcycle riding, I always had a pickup truck, and I could put stuff in the back. I never had the need for a car.

"I've owned a lot of trucks, but I've never owned a car. I learned how to drive on a '52 military Jeep with a stickshift. Growing up in Colorado, we had power wagons I had to plow snow with. It was all trucks. When you jump in a car, it's no big deal.

"Driving a car is easy compared to driving to driving a Jeep or a power wagon or a dump truck. I've driven a dump truck. We used to have one on the ranch for clearing. We'd load up the dump truck with a back hoe full of rocks or trees and take it down and dump it in a hole somewhere.

"I learned how to drive when I was 12 or 13. I had that old Jeep restored, and I'll probably teach my kids how to drive with it.

Right now, he's concerned about teaching himself how to drive at a new race track.

"I don't know if anybody went down there and tested, but it's pretty much a clean sheet of paper for Homestead," Dallenbach said. "I think a couple of guys will probably hit on something, but a lot of Cup drivers have run Busch cars or trucks there. I've never laid eyes on the place. We're bringing a brand new car there. We'll be busy all day Thursday practicing there, and then it'll be business as usual, hopefully."

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Wally Dallenbach