CHARLOTTE, N.C., (March 21, 2001) - With qualifying for the Carolina Dodge Dealers 400 at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway fogged out, Kenny Wallace was relegated to a 41st starting position. While being in the field is better than driving home on ...
CHARLOTTE, N.C., (March 21, 2001) - With qualifying for the Carolina Dodge Dealers 400 at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway fogged out, Kenny Wallace was relegated to a 41st starting position. While being in the field is better than driving home on Saturday, the Eel River Racing team could have viewed their starting position as a sign of what was yet to come from the "Lady in Black".
"Darlington was a race where we just didn't run well. But the worst part was we were just plain unlucky," said Wallace. "We pitted three times and every time we pitted under green the caution came out. By the end of the race we were shown six laps down when we were a three laps down car.
"All of it was bad," Wallace continued. "It was a day that wasn't meant to be. We were fortunate to finish the race because it seemed like everything we did was wrong. I mean when you pit three times and every time the caution comes out, that tells you're not doing something right. But it's something we live with in this sport."
Wallace finished the race in 31st, six laps down to the leaders. With Darlington behind him, his next target is the exciting high-banks of Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway.
According to Kenny Wallace, the key to the Eel River Racing team's success in the Food City 500 at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway is having a plan.
"Bristol is the type of track where you have to have a plan going into the weekend," said Wallace. "What that means is that you can't go up there and say we'll qualify where we can and work our way to the front. At Bristol if you don't qualify well you've got to stay out of trouble because it's so easy to wreck there and fall out of contention.
"You also have to have good pit stops," Wallace continued. "The most important thing about qualifying well at Bristol is the front and back stretch pitting. That comes into play when you qualify and race. It's the only track left on the circuit where you show up and want to qualify on the front stretch to make the day easier."
Qualifying at Bristol has never been a big problem for Wallace during his career. He has one pole, four top-five and seven top-ten starts on the .533-mile oval. But qualifying well is just the start to a good weekend on the track.
"You have to have a good handling car for qualifying at Bristol," said Wallace. "Some drivers excel there because they know what they need to do. But, it's that way with any track. I have been fortunate to be in cars that have done what I wanted them to do for qualifying. However, as far as the race goes, it always seems like we've been stuck in the late teens when we run the race. Believe me, I would give up a little in qualifying to run better in the race."