Top-10 for Wally, by golly By Marty Smith NASCAR Online PHOENIX (Nov. 8, 1999) Since finishing seventh at Watkins Glen International back on August 15th, Wally Dallenbach hadn't so much as sniffed the top-10 until Sunday, when he finished ninth...
Top-10 for Wally, by golly By Marty Smith NASCAR Online
PHOENIX (Nov. 8, 1999) Since finishing seventh at Watkins Glen International back on August 15th, Wally Dallenbach hadn't so much as sniffed the top-10 until Sunday, when he finished ninth in the Checker Auto Parts/Dura Lube 500 at Phoenix International Raceway.
During that dreadful 10-race span, Dallenbach posted just one top-20 run in the No. 25 Budweiser Chevrolet - a 15th at Dover -- and finished outside the top-30 three times, including a 39th-place effort at North Carolina Speedway two weeks back. Sunday, however, he pushed all previous woes aside, then surged from a 22nd-place starting slot to post Chevrolet's best finish of the weekend.
"This will build up the whole team's confidence," Dallenbach said. "There are a lot of unknowns right now for everybody, but when I get a good race car I run good, and the Bud team gave me a good car today. We were best in class. I knew the Pontiacs were going to be really strong. They were all weekend. We just drove as hard as we could and got what we could. We should have been a couple of spots better."
Dallenbach has seen his share of ups and downs during the 1999 NASCAR Winston Cup Series campaign, the majority being downs. Midway through the season, it was announced that Jerry Nadeau would take the reigns of the No. 25 Hendrick Motorsports Chevys in 2000, leaving Dallenbach without long term plans for more than two months.
He was rumored to be the main man for Felix Sabates' No. 42 BellSouth Mobility ride, but Kenny Irwin snagged that one. Then, on Sept. 24 it was announced that Dallenbach had signed a three-year deal to drive Galaxy Motorsports' No. 75 Fords, an opportunity he is extremely excited about.
"I don't care if you're on a one-mile track or a two-mile track, downforce is downforce and that makes your tires stick better," he said. "I'm moving over to a car that's got a little more downforce, I hope, next year, so I'm not going to complain too much.
"We were about a tenth off today, and I don't know what we could have done about that. The last set of tires probably cost us a couple of spots, but that's about as good as we were."
Two races remain on the 1999 series schedule, and Dallenbach has finished in the top-10 five times, including a season-best fifth at Pocono. He still has confidence that the No. 25 team can finish up front.
"We're still trying to win," he said. "I don't know how many people are betting on us, but we sure haven't given up on ourselves. We had a good test in Atlanta. I have no idea what's going to happen at Homestead, but Homestead is a good, flat race track. I think we can still win one."
Source: NASCAR Online