CHARLOTTE, N.C., (Aug. 15, 2000) -- After Sunday's Global Crossing @ The Glen, Kenny Wallace, driver of the Square D/Cooper Lighting Chevrolet, probably wishes there was more road racing on the NASCAR Winston Cup Series schedule. The St. Louis...
CHARLOTTE, N.C., (Aug. 15, 2000) -- After Sunday's Global Crossing @ The Glen, Kenny Wallace, driver of the Square D/Cooper Lighting Chevrolet, probably wishes there was more road racing on the NASCAR Winston Cup Series schedule.
The St. Louis native posted a 14th place finish at Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International, and seized his second consecutive top-15 road course finish. Wallace earned 13th place at the Save Mart/Kragen 350K in Sonoma, Calif. on June 25.
"There was a huge difference in tires at Watkins Glen, and fortunately we got the best set toward the end of the day," said Wallace. "The first set of tires we put on the Square D/Cooper Lighting Chevy were good and the last set of tires we put on were awesome. On top of that, Jimmy did a great job with our pit strategy. He kept the Square D/Cooper Lighting Chevrolet out as long as possible before our first pit stop to set us up for the end of the race. Jimmy is always thinking ahead, and his scheme gave us at least five positions in the race."
If only Kenny Wallace, driver of the Square D/Cooper Lighting Chevrolet, knew then what he knows now, it would have saved him a lot of grief and agony. As the Square D/Cooper Lighting driver prepares for Sunday's Pepsi 400 at Michigan Speedway, he believes the Square D Racing Team has learned a trick or two for the two-mile oval.
"There's a new setup that teams have started using at Michigan," said Wallace. "Everyone is running around Michigan Speedway with real soft front springs, a stiff right rear spring and a soft left rear spring. That's something we're going to unload this weekend and work on right away."
Wallace is never too proud to learn new tricks, especially if it brings him his first ever top-10 performance at Michigan. Wallace can't take the credit for the idea. The St. Louis native confesses that the rear-split shock setup was given to the Square D Racing Team by an unusual source.
"We got that set up from the NASCAR Busch Series," continued Wallace. "Todd Berrier, the crew chief for the No. 2 race car driven by Kevin Harvick, thought it up. We heard about it before this year's first Michigan. The Busch teams have been using it for a while, and they passed it onto the Winston Cup teams. We can't run as stiff a right rear as they do, but we did adapt the principle to the heavier Winston Cup race cars."
It will take more than a trick setup for Wallace to bring success from up North, and his racing team knows that to be true. Andy Petree Racing (APR) has been working very hard to improve its performance at Michigan Speedway, as both Wallace and his APR teammate, Joe Nemechek, elected to use testing dates there this season.
"Michigan has been a sore point for the APR racing teams," said Wallace. "As a collective group, we're looking to find something better for that race track. Even though it rained last time out, we did learn a lot about Michigan Speedway toward the end of the race. The race car that we ran there never qualified well. It handled okay, but it seemed to lack the speed that we needed to compete. We gave that race car about two or three chances, and it just didn't work out, so we fired it. We will take a different race car this time.
"My team actually tricked me in the Brickyard 400," continued Wallace. "They didn't tell me that the race car we used at Michigan was the same race car that we had at Indy. I guess they wanted to see if it was something in my head. When Jimmy (Elledge, crew chief) asked me if I was mad that they had deceived me, I said, 'Well no. I'm actually kind of happy that I didn't know.' I felt that that race car could never qualify well, and I'm known to be a strong qualifier. So it put my mind at ease." <pre> Kenny Wallace's Michigan Performance Profile ------------------------------------------
Year Event Start Finish Status/Laps Earnings
2000 Kmart 400 34 30 Running/192 $35,240
1999 Kmart 400 19 21 Running/198 $30,055
Pepsi 400 23 27 Running/199 $25,140
1998 Miller Lite 400 23 39 Running/194 $18,880
1997 Miller 400 33 43 Engine/1 $21,780
ITW DeVilbiss 400 44 32 Running/198 $22,640
1996 Miller 400 16 33 Running/192 $10,385
Goodwrench 400 13 37 Accident/84 $13,690
1995 Miller 400 33 36 Engine/78 $9,900
Goodwrench 400 10 24 Running/196 $10,915
1994 Miller 400 22 19 Running/198 $9,825
1993 Miller 400 33 29 Running/196 $9,965
Champion 400 14 23 Running/199 $10,565