CHARLOTTE, N.C., (May 2, 2000) - If anyone wants to know how competitive NASCAR Winston Cup Series racing is, just ask Kenny Wallace, driver of the Square D/Cooper Lighting Chevrolet. The Square D Racing Team emptied its entire tool box looking...
CHARLOTTE, N.C., (May 2, 2000) - If anyone wants to know how competitive NASCAR Winston Cup Series racing is, just ask Kenny Wallace, driver of the Square D/Cooper Lighting Chevrolet. The Square D Racing Team emptied its entire tool box looking for the right setup for Sunday's NAPA Auto Parts 500 at California Speedway, and still came away with just a 36th place finish.
"It was a tough week," said Wallace. "We just couldn't get up to speed. No matter how much talent and ability this team has, we couldn't get the race car into the top-30 of the field. We had some ignition trouble as well that cost us some laps. But even without that problem, we were destined to finish outside the top-30. We need to go back to work on our intermediate track racing setup. We're going to Michigan to test May 15-16, and hopefully we can perform better on mid-sized tracks."
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If Kenny Wallace, driver of the Square D/Cooper Lighting Chevrolet, had a home away from his Concord, N.C., address, it would be the .75-mile oval known as Richmond (Va.) International Raceway. Even though short track racing is very demanding on a NASCAR Winston Cup Series driver's talent, Wallace will feel at home showcasing his driving skills in Saturday's Pontiac Excitement 400.
"It's my favorite track because I always run competitively at Richmond," said Wallace. "We have three consecutive top-10 qualifying efforts and I hope to continue that streak. I enjoy short track racing because the driver has more to say about the outcome of the race. On top of that, I believe we've prepared a strong car for the track. It's the same car we used at Martinsville, (Va.) and it ran well there. When you have a race car that you believe in, it builds your confidence."
Wallace's confidence was also boosted by a strong performance while testing at Richmond earlier this season. The Square D Racing Team spent two days, April 18-19, to prepare for Sunday's race.
"We're always looking to improve our setup, even if we're strong at that track," said Wallace. "We tested at Richmond because you really have to work on your shock package. The race track has been worn out over the years, and the track surface is getting old and slippery. Richmond forces teams to change its preparation every year."
Wallace has proven himself at Richmond as a NASCAR Busch Series, Grand National Division driver, posting three wins in three consecutive years. Wallace won the 1994 Autolite 250, the 1995 Hardee's 250 and the 1996 Autolite 250, and hopes that kind of success will be the stepping stone for a Winston Cup victory.
"My wins at the Busch level help an awful lot," continued Wallace. "If you have success at a track at any level, you learn what it takes to win at that venue. If your team has seen you do it before, it inspires them. They believe that collectively, we can get the job done. The entire team is a little more relaxed the week leading into the race. I won't have much to worry about Saturday because I know what I've done at Richmond."