HARRISBURG, N.C., (Oct. 19, 1998) - Baseball legend Yogi Berra once said, "It's dÃ©jÃ vu all over again." Square D Ford driver Kenny Wallace was probably thinking the same thing when he yelled over the radio, "I blew up!" on lap 113 of the...
HARRISBURG, N.C., (Oct. 19, 1998) - Baseball legend Yogi Berra once said, "It's déjà vu all over again." Square D Ford driver Kenny Wallace was probably thinking the same thing when he yelled over the radio, "I blew up!" on lap 113 of the Pepsi 400 at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway. A dropped valve dropped Wallace out of the race, the very same problem that forced Wallace to the garage area on lap 107 in last week's Winston 500 at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway.
"It's the same old story, same old song and dance," said Wallace, quoting a tune from his favorite band - Aerosmith. "We were running well and something happened to the motor. The crew told me it dropped another valve. All I can do is come here every week and put the car up front. I can't control what happens to the race car."
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With an eye on Sunday's Dura-Lube/Kmart 500 at Phoenix International Raceway and another on the 1999 season, Square D Ford driver Kenny Wallace heads west with plans for a good run and with plans to build a strong relationship with Jimmy Elledge - his crew chief next year at Andy Petree Racing.
Due to a prior family commitment this weekend, interim crew chief David Ifft won't be joining the FILMAR Racing crew when they board their flight from Charlotte, N.C., to Phoenix. As a result, the 28-year-old Elledge will be Wallace's head wrench this Friday and Saturday. However, Elledge still has a commitment with Jack Roush to change tires for Mark Martin on Sunday. Therefore, Barry Dodson, who is Mike Bliss' crew chief in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series, will be staying an extra day in Phoenix to fill the role of crew chief on race day.
"It kind of reminds me of Rusty's (Wallace) championship run back in '89," said Wallace. "Barry was the crew chief while Jimmy Makar and Rusty got the chassis going. This time, Jimmy (Elledge) and I are going to get the chassis going, while Barry will come in and call our pit strategy for the race. I've got plenty of faith in both of them. Plus, we're taking a car that's finished no worse than 11th."
The car that's going to Phoenix is chassis FM14. It has only three races on it's record, but it's an impressive record. It debuted at New Hampshire in the CMT 300 with a season-best sixth place finish, followed by 10th and 11th place efforts at Darlington and Richmond, respectively. "It's the best flat track car we have," said Jason Shapiro, car boss for the No. 81 Taurus.
Sunday's race will not be the first time that Dodson and Wallace have worked together. In 1991 at Team III Racing, Dodson and Wallace teamed for three races on the Winston Cup circuit. During that year, Dodson worked with four other drivers at Team III Racing. They were Mickey Gibbs, Dick Trickle, Dorsey Schroeder and Jimmy Hensley. Kenny Wallace's Phoenix Performance Profile --------------------
Year Event Start Finish Status/Laps Earnings 1997 Dura-Lube 500 21 35 Running/308 $18,520 1996 Dura-Lube 500 7 37 Engine/254 $9,525 1995 Dura-Lube 500 27 26 Running/309 $9,185 1994 Slick 50 500 11 18 Running/310 $19,195 1993 Slick 50 500 32 17 Running/310 $9,920 1991 Pyroil 500 41 43 Steering/1 $3,000