Kenny Wallace Rockingham II preview

Kenny Wallace ...

Kenny Wallace
#1 Pennzoil Chevrolet
Pop Secret 400
North Carolina Speedway (1.017-mile oval)


* In his ninth start for the Pennzoil team, Kenny Wallace tries to accomplish the same feat that Steve Park conquered during the last outing at North Carolina Speedway in Rockingham, N.C. In the Dale Earnhardt, Inc.-owned #1 Pennzoil Chevrolet Monte Carlo, Park took the same car Wallace will drive this Sunday to victory lane in an emotional win during the second race of the season.

* The Pennzoil Chevrolet competing in the Pop Secret 400 this weekend is the same Monte Carlo Wallace raced in Darlington and Dover. Park also drove the car, not only to the win at Rockingham, but also to a second-place finish at both Darlington and Dover and a ninth-place posting at the first Bristol event.

* In last year's event, Pennzoil driver Steve Park started the race in the 17th position but quickly found his way into the top 10 and had moved into sixth by the 46th circuit. After a series of cautions, Park moved from the 10th position to his final spot in sixth in the final 38 laps, which was he best finish on the 1.017-mile track at that point. Following the event last year, Park had posted seven top-10 races in the previous 11 races, going back to his victory at Watkins Glen.

* Last weekend at Phoenix, Kenny Wallace, who started the Checker Auto Parts 500 presented by Pennzoil in the seventh position as the best Chevrolet of the field, suffered from two flat right front tires throughout the 3-hour race but rallied to finish 11th after falling a lap down and running in the 36th position. Without warning on lap 70, the front tire on the Monte Carlo blew out as he head into the first turn but Wallace held on and avoided going into the wall. Coming into the pits when the caution came out for debris on lap 72, the Pennzoil team changed the right side tires only to stay on the lead lap. Returning to the pits on the next circuit for left tires, Wallace came back in one more time to repair the deck lid before returning to competition. When the green flag dropped at lap 77, Wallace was posted in the 36th position. Surging toward the front, Wallace picked off positions and worked his way into the 13th spot on lap 195. His rally though would once again be cut short when the Pennzoil car suffered another flat front right tire. Without a caution, Wallace fell a lap down when he entered the pits for new tires. A caution at lap 203 allowed Wallace to make up ground and get on the tail end of the lead lap for the restart. Not able to stay ahead of the leaders, Wallace fell back slightly but got a break when the yellow flag fell again. This time on the restart, Wallace forged ahead of the leaders and was pulling away from the field when the #97 car crashed along with several other cars. Getting back on the lead lap and around the track, Wallace was posted in the 23rd position on the restart and steadily picked off spots as he made his way back toward the front. Posted in the 18th position with 38 laps remaining, Wallace continued his climb and made it to the 11th spot with four laps to go.

"The only thing I have concerns about is that Steve Park won that race on bump stops," said Wallace, regarding Park's win in Rockingham earlier this year. "But I'm hoping we can go back and duplicate it. I'm sure Paul Andrews (crew chief) will figure it all out. I can't imagine the car not being fast. It's been fast every time I get behind the wheel."

"Really ready to put the car on the track at Rockingham," said crew chief Paul Andrews. "Tested there early in the year with and without bumps so, even though we won with them, we are prepared to race without. Ran well without them in Darlington when Kenny first took over for us, moving from the back to 12th before overheating.

"Driving at Rockingham is similar to the style needed for Dover and Darlington," added Andrews. "Kenny did very well for us at both of those races so feel confident he'll continue to run strong. He really has stepped in and done a wonderful job for us. It's a difficult situation to be in but he's handled it very well. We appreciate all his help."

<pre> Kenny Wallace North Carolina Speedway Winston Cup Performance Record

Year    Race            St      Fin     Laps    Status
2001    Dura-Lube 400   30      42      118/393 Accident
2000    Dura-Lube 400   19      24      389/393 Running
        Pop Secret 400  10      43      14/393  Engine
1999    Dura-Lube 400   14      13      392/393 Running
        Pop Secret 400  26      16      391/393 Running
1998    Goodwrench 400  2       38      27/2393 Accident
        AC Delco 400    34      16      392/393 Running
1997    Goodwrench 400  13      41      180/393 Engine
        AC Delco 400    25      37      379/393 Engine
1996    Goodwrench 400  8       7       393/393 Running
        AC Delco 400    8       19      391/393 Running
1995    Goodwrench 500  29      20      477/492 Running
1994    AC Delco 500    23      15      488/492 Running
1993    Goodwrench 500  32      23      481/492 Running
        AC Delco 500    41      37      181/492 Mechanical

Pennzoil Team North Carolina Speedway Performance Record

Year    Race            St      Fin     Laps    Status  Winnings
2001    Dura-Lube 400   2       1       393/393 Running $144,593
2000    Dura-Lube 400   18      9       392/393 Running 42,010
        Pop Secret 400  17      6       393/393 Running 47,050
1999    Dura-Lube 400   38      26      390/393 Running 33,475
        Pop Secret 400  39      15      392/393 Running 38,850
1998    Goodwrench 400  19      31      374/393 Running 14,765
        AC Delco 400    38      35      386/393 Running 17,250
1997    AC Delco 400    32      33      387/393 Running 11,850


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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt , Steve Park , Kenny Wallace