Bud team shooting for another top 10 Wally Dallenbach and the No. 25 Budweiser Chevrolet racing team scored their first top-10 finish of the season on May 2 in the California 500 and would like nothing better than to continue...
Bud team shooting for another top 10
Wally Dallenbach and the No. 25 Budweiser Chevrolet racing team scored their first top-10 finish of the season on May 2 in the California 500 and would like nothing better than to continue running up front under the lights Saturday night at Richmond International Raceway. The 35-year-old New Jersey native ranked ninth in the NASCAR Winston Cup standings after the first three races of the season with finishes of 12th, 17th and 13th. Problems in the next five events dropped Dallenbach to 26th, but he's climbed back to 19th and crew chief Tony Furr says the team will contend for top-10 honors again this season. "There's no doubt in my mind that this can be a top-10 team," Furr said. "We've just got to get everybody pulling in the same direction. The team is feeling good and everybody is still pumped up after our run at California. Now, we've got to do that again Saturday night at Richmond. "It'll be tough because I think short track racing is more difficult than racing on intermediate tracks and superspeedways. We want to go to Richmond and win, but a top-10 finish would be more realistic. I don't know if this team is ready to win a short track race right now. "I'm not taking anything away from anybody. We could win the race in the right situation, but look at who has won at Richmond the last five years. You've got Rusty Wallace, Terry Labonte, Jeff Gordon, Dale Jarrett and Ernie Irvan. Jeff Burton won there last time and all those guys are experienced drivers with experienced teams. "Experience is the reason Terry Labonte won the first race there last year. The driver prevailed, not the car. I'm not taking anything away from anybody, and I really want to emphasize that, but it's hard to beat experience on a short track. You just don't see guys on a first-year team or a third-year team win up there." Furr says communication plays a bigger role on a short track than the bigger layouts. A driver must be able to tell the crew chief what the car is doing in each turn. "Richmond is like a short track and an intermediate track, and that's really a problem if the communication isn't there," Furr said. "A driver will feel the car getting loose getting in the corners at Richmond. If you tighten it up too much, it'll get too tight in the middle of the turns and slow you down. A driver has to compensate for that and the only way to do that is with experience. Experience really means a lot at Richmond." Dallenbach will be making his 172nd NASCAR Winston Cup career start on Saturday night at Richmond. His best finish at Richmond came in 1993 when he ended up 15th. "If we could just get a little luck, we'd be in good shape," Furr said. "It seems like if we don't have bad luck, we don't have any luck at all. We've been eat up with bad luck. "But nobody on this team is giving up. This is the best team I've ever been with. We've got great equipment and great personnel. We got our first top-10 finish at California, and we all know we should have a bunch more of them by now.
"We moved up to 19th in the standings, and we all know we're capable of being a top-10 team. This can be a very strong team, and we can win just about everywhere we go. The equipment is there, and the talent is there, and we're going to surprise some people real soon. "We've got a lot more racing to go this season, and the Budweiser team is going to be in the thick of it before all is said and done."