HARRISBURG, N.C., (March 16, 1999) - Square D Chevrolet driver Kenny Wallace soldiered home to a 29th place finish in last Sunday's Cracker Barrel Old Country Store 500 at a cold and blustery Atlanta Motor Speedway. Wallace started the ...
HARRISBURG, N.C., (March 16, 1999) - Square D Chevrolet driver Kenny Wallace soldiered home to a 29th place finish in last Sunday's Cracker Barrel Old Country Store 500 at a cold and blustery Atlanta Motor Speedway.
Wallace started the rain-delayed event in the 34th slot. Just a handful of laps into the 325-lap race, the No. 55 Monte Carlo developed a loose handling condition that plagued Wallace throughout the day. On top of that, a severe vibration emanating from the right front wheel on lap 145 sent Wallace to pit road unexpectedly. A missing wheel weight was the culprit, and it dropped Wallace further down in the running order.
"It was a horrible day," said Wallace, "but my guys kept me going. We had a little bit of bad luck, but we just weren't right all day. Having that tire weight fall off didn't help us. I thought I had a tire going down. I've got a lot of faith in my guys though. They're going to work hard and I'm going to work hard for Darlington (S.C.) next week."
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Darlington (S.C.) Raceway yielded a pair of top-10 finishes for driver Kenny Wallace in 1998. While the 1.366-mile oval known as being "too tough to tame" has raised the ire of many NASCAR drivers throughout it's 50-year history, Wallace actually enjoys piloting his Square D steed around its treacherous layout.
"It just seems like I know what I need at that race track," said Wallace. "I know some grooves and I've been able to stay out of trouble. That's big there - to stay fast and stay out of trouble. Usually the way you do that is by staying out front."
So how did Wallace get to know the grooves at Darlington? He sought the advice of Harry Gant, a three-time winner at Darlington (1991 Heinz Southern 500, 1989 TranSouth Financial 500 and the 1983 TranSouth Financial 400).
"I went to Harry Gant awhile back," said Wallace. "Harry taught me a lot about that race track. A lot of it has to do with the gas pedal in relation to the corners - where you're letting off and where you're getting on the gas. I'm not exactly where I want to be there, but I'm working on it. But it's always fun to go to Darlington. Every time I go there, it seems like I run well."