CHARLOTTE, N.C., (June 29, 1999) - Seven caution flags for 26 laps and one red flag for 20 minutes. Surviving, let alone finishing Sunday's Save Mart/Kragen 350k at Sears Point Raceway was a feat in itself. Square D Chevrolet driver Kenny...
CHARLOTTE, N.C., (June 29, 1999) - Seven caution flags for 26 laps and one red flag for 20 minutes. Surviving, let alone finishing Sunday's Save Mart/Kragen 350k at Sears Point Raceway was a feat in itself.
Square D Chevrolet driver Kenny Wallace accomplished that feat, finishing the 112-lap event in 14th place.
"It was a solid day for us," said Wallace. "We ended up 14th and we were lucky to survive. We flat-spotted a tire there at the end and the car had a real bad vibration. I felt like we could've finished eighth."
While Wallace would have liked to have finished eighth, many of his fellow competitors didn't finish at all. Included in that group was Ken Schrader, Wallace's teammate at Andy Petree Racing. Coming out of turn one, Schrader's Chevrolet spun off course and into the tire barrier, catapulting his red and white Monte Carlo into the air. After a few barrel rolls, Schrader landed upside down. Despite the wild ride, the Skoal pilot emerged from the wreckage unscathed. As he walked across the race track, Schrader gave an "I'm okay" wave to Wallace.
"I'm just glad my buddy Kenny's okay," said Wallace. "I about wrecked right before he did. Man, he had a violent hit. That seemed to be the story of the day."
* * * It's no longer the inaugural nighttime running of the Pepsi 400 at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway, but racing under the lights at Daytona still carries plenty of mystique for Square D Chevrolet driver Kenny Wallace.
"I like living life to its fullest," said Wallace, "and being a part of that first night race felt great. It was so much different. Practicing at night, knowing all the fans were staying late to watch us - it made us feel special. Everyone knew it was a special event."
In addition to creating some prime-time excitement, moving the Pepsi 400 to nighttime gave drivers relief from the stifling Florida heat and humidity.
"NASCAR hit a home run when they moved the Pepsi 400 to night," said Wallace. "It didn't matter how good of an athlete you were. It didn't matter how many muscles you had. Nobody could stand 130 degree heat inside their race car while in a 20-car draft."
A cameraman from the Food Network will be riding along with Square D Racing Team transporter driver Bart Creasman as he makes his way from the team's shop in Flat Rock, N.C., to Daytona Beach, Fla. As part of a Labor Day special showcasing the NASCAR lifestyle, the piece will document how NASCAR teams eat on the road and at the track by utilizing their haulers as mobile kitchens. Kenny Wallace's Daytona Performance Profile ----------------------------
Year Event Start Finish Status/Laps Earnings 1999 Daytona 500 33 42 Engine/92 $86,026 1998 Pepsi 400 28 35 Engine/113 $27,555 1997 Daytona 500 36 22 Running/200 $65,465 Pepsi 400 27 11 Running/160 $30,565 1996 Daytona 500 33 21 Running/199 $40,685 Pepsi 400 21 38 Accident/100 $13,090 1993 Daytona 500 24 23 Running/199 $27,820 Pepsi 400 32 28 Running/79 $9,305