CHARLOTTE, N.C., (June 22, 1999) - It was weird. On lap 19 of Sunday's Pocono 500, both Andy Petree Racing cars headed to the pits under green. Kenny Wallace's Square D Chevy had a flat right front tire, while Ken Schrader's Skoal Chevy had a...
CHARLOTTE, N.C., (June 22, 1999) - It was weird. On lap 19 of Sunday's Pocono 500, both Andy Petree Racing cars headed to the pits under green.
Kenny Wallace's Square D Chevy had a flat right front tire, while Ken Schrader's Skoal Chevy had a flat left front tire.
"How's that for luck?" said Wallace's crew chief Jimmy Elledge after his team changed right side tires and sent Wallace back onto the 2.5-mile Pocono Raceway in 39th position.
Bad luck it was. But with 181 laps still left to run in the 200-lap affair, quitting wasn't an option. Instead the team dug deep, raced clean and made quick pit stops. The team effort enabled Wallace to finish a very respectable 25th.
"It was a tough day," said Elledge. "We had to run hard - basically racing nobody. Finally toward the end of the race we got to racing the (No.) 45 car. He got tires and we didn't (during the second to last caution flag). Then the caution came out again, and we got tires and he didn't. We probably could've been one spot better if we'd gotten tires with the (No.) 45. But if the race had finished without that last caution, we'd have been on old tires and probably wound up 27th. So, we got lucky in one aspect and unlucky in another."
* * * For the fifth time in his NASCAR Winston Cup Series career, Square D Chevrolet driver Kenny Wallace heads to Sears Point Raceway for this Sunday's Save Mart/Kragen 350k. Despite competing at the 1.949-mile road course on four previous occasions, this year's event marks a new beginning for Wallace.
"I'm looking forward to going out there because I really don't know what kind of a road racing program APR (Andy Petree Racing) has," said Wallace. "I don't consider myself a road racer, but this year's a new deal for me. I'm with a new team and I enjoy road racing. Hopefully we can make something happen."
Wallace first came to Sears Point as a rookie in 1993 with Team SABCO. He returned to the winding road course in 1996 with FILMAR Racing, for whom Wallace drove with through the 1998 season. This year marks Wallace's first year with APR.
"Our goal at Sears Point is to qualify in the top-25 and stay on course for the race," said Wallace. "All of us are aspiring to be great road racers, it's just that we don't do it enough. When you don't do something enough and you're forced to do it, you've got to take what you can get.
"Road racing is all about being calm. Grabbing your gearbox at the right time and braking at the right time. Sometimes, we circle track drivers tend to be a little rough on equipment. We need to come out of there with our car in one piece so we can learn something, gain some points, and go to Watkins Glen (N.Y.) with the same car."