DARLINGTON, S.C. (Sept. 2, 2001) -- With Pennzoil driver Steve Park sidelined after sustaining a moderate concussion in an accident that occurred during the Busch race on Saturday, Kenny Wallace sat behind the wheel of the ...
DARLINGTON, S.C. (Sept. 2, 2001) -- With Pennzoil driver Steve Park sidelined after sustaining a moderate concussion in an accident that occurred during the Busch race on Saturday, Kenny Wallace sat behind the wheel of the #1 Pennzoil Chevrolet for the Mountain Dew Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway on Sunday afternoon.
While Park expected to be released from the hospital on Monday, Wallace began at the rear of the field since Park had qualified the Monte Carlo. Under the DEI horsepower, Wallace moved smoothly through the field and was 21st when the first caution flag fell at lap 56. The Pennzoil Team returned Wallace to the track in the 18th spot where he once again surged toward the front, moving as high as 12th and knocking at a top-10 spot before loose conditions had him slipping into the field slightly.
"The Pennzoil car ran really strong and I enjoyed moving through the field with such power," said Wallace, who started the season with Eel River Racing before being released. "The pit crew was just awesome too. I was really impressed with the job that they did."
During the caution period at lap 192, Wallace radioed that the water temperature was high so during the next round of pit stops on lap 248, crew chief Paul Andrews had tape removed from the front grill. Nearly 25 laps later, Wallace pulled into the pits where the team hoped to circulate cooler water into the #1 Pennzoil Chevrolet. Noticing that water was leaking, the team pushed the car behind the wall to replace the radiator but it was discovered that the engine had already sustained damage due to overheating. Not able to return to competition, Wallace's was posted in the 41st position at the end of the 4-hour event.
"Kenny did a great job for us today," said crew chief Paul Andrews. "He helped us out and we really appreciated it. Wish we could have gotten a better finish but that was our fault with the overheating problem. He ran a great race and got that Pennzoil Chevrolet toward the front. We couldn't have asked for any more than that."
Although he didn't earn any points for the event, Park fell only one position to 11th in the driver's points standings. Scoring Dodge's second victory of the season, Ward Burton led the field under caution to the checkered flag with Jeff Gordon, Bobby Labonte, Tony Stewart and Bill Elliott rounding out the top five.