Martinsville Will Provide Another Tough Test Picturesque Martinsville Speedway will provide another short track test for NASCAR Winston Cup teams on Sunday, and Wally Dallenbach, driver of the Budweiser Chevrolet, would like nothing more...
Martinsville Will Provide Another Tough Test
Picturesque Martinsville Speedway will provide another short track test for NASCAR Winston Cup teams on Sunday, and Wally Dallenbach, driver of the Budweiser Chevrolet, would like nothing more than to ace this exam.
Dallenbach, a 35-year-old New Jersey native, qualified 15th last week at Bristol Motor Speedway in the season's first short track event. He finished 30th and left the high-banked half mile scratching his head.
"We just couldn't get a handle on the car," Dallenbach said. "After we qualified on the frontstretch, I thought we were going to be in good shape, but we just never got the car tightened up."
Making his eighth start of the season in the Budweiser Chevy, Dallenbach will be gunning for his first top-10 finish on Sunday in the Goody's Body Pain 500 at the .526-mile Virginia track.
With veteran crew chief Tony Furr calling the shots for the Budweiser team, Dallenbach will try to nail down his first top-10 finish in eight career starts at Martinsville.
"Tony has always had a pretty good car up there," Dallenbach said. "We've been pretty decent in the race at Martinsville in the past, but qualifying is a different story. It had always been a struggle until last year's fall race."
Dallenbach qualified fifth fastest in the Budweiser Chevrolet last September, but he ended up 32nd in the 43-car field.
"Some guy a lap down racing with the leaders checked up in front of me, and we punctured the radiator," Dallenbach said. "For a change I was having fun racing at Martinsville. The guys really had a good car for me.
"We'll have a good car this time, too. You've got to be lucky and stay out of trouble on the short tracks, but the car has to handle. It's tough to pass on any short track, so track position means a lot at Martinsville.
"It really helps if you can drive the car smooth and not have to manhandle it. I know some guys like to throw it around, just like on the road courses, but a smooth, easy style at Martinsville goes a long way."
Dallenbach enjoyed a top-10 ranking in the series standings after the first three events, and he can't wait for the upcoming races at Talladega and California.
"We tested two days at Talladega this week, and I think we're going to be in pretty good shape for that race," Dallenbach said. "I really like the superspeedways, and I think we might surprise a few people at Talladega.
"I've enjoyed California Speedway both times we've been out there, too, so maybe if we can get through Martinsville in one piece, we can have some real fun in these next two races.
"This team can win a race. There's no doubt in my mind about that. We've just got to keep our heads up and keep digging. No one has given up, but it's tough to win a Winston Cup race. Everybody knows that. Look at the great drivers who haven't won in a long time, and look at the drivers who've never won. I don't feel any pressure to win. Any pressure I feel, I put on myself, but that doesn't mean I don't want to win as much as the next guy.
"We're going to work out all the bugs and get going. Martinsville will be a pretty tall order, but like I said, Tony Furr knows how to set up a car at Martinsville. With a little luck here and there, we should be able to get a good finish out of it and then get ready to rumble at Talladega the next week."