RUSTY WALLACE (No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Intrepid) NOTE: Wallace will make his 600th career start in Sunday's Subway 400 NASCAR Winston Cup race at North Carolina Speedway. Wallace will be making his 40th start at Rockingham, and he leads all...
RUSTY WALLACE (No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Intrepid)
NOTE: Wallace will make his 600th career start in Sunday's Subway 400 NASCAR Winston Cup race at North Carolina Speedway. Wallace will be making his 40th start at Rockingham, and he leads all active drivers with five wins at the 1.017-mile track.
"That's a lot of races, no doubt about that. That's pretty special. I hope I win. The first win was incredible. It was at Bristol. I think I qualified 24th. I took the lead halfway through the race, and I couldn't believe I won my first race at a track that wild and hard to run at. I thought it was a fluke for a little while, but we went on six or seven races and I won again at Martinsville. That was 1986. I won my 50th race at Bristol, and I've won here at Rockingham five times. This has been a good track for me in the past. I'm glad I'm starting my 600th here.
"If I wasn't competitive I wouldn't run. We're running great. Even with the problems I had at Daytona last week, we ran super strong. I started 38th and on the sixth lap I was running eighth. That was pretty cool. On the fourth lap of the race, I passed the pole sitter. We had that little hot rod running pretty good. I made a decision to pit because we had oil all over the windshield. I didn't know if it was going to rain or not rain. If it had gone back to green we were going to be in trouble. I came down pit road running seventh and came back on the track running 25th. I've never given up that many positions in my life just because of a crazy call, but it happened.
"I like Rockingham. It's very hard on the tires, but it's not as hard on the tires as Darlington. That's the very worst track on tires. It's close to home. I've won a lot here, and I've always had good cars here, so I'm looking forward to it.
"Whenever you can go somewhere and start 39 times and win five of them, that's pretty strong. I pride myself in that. Some of those races I won here happened too long ago. I want to get some more current victories going on right now. If we can have a year like we had last year and win a couple of races, it would be fabulous. We'd be right there to have a shot to win the championship like we were last year, and I believe we've got a team and a car we can do it with.
"One of the biggest reasons we switched to Dodge is we believe we can make this product better. We think we can get in victory lane with this car, so I'm real excited about it.
"I'm glad to be at a non-restrictor plate race. I did have fun at Daytona. I didn't like qualifying. The way we qualified, it turned out bad. I really did like the way the car drove in the Bud Shootout and the 125. I finished fourth in that race, and I ran great in the Daytona 500. When you look at where the 2 car finished, it doesn't look that great, but I did like the way we ran in the race.
"It's like real racing here, but you can't judge everybody off this race yet. These are new bodies. For us it's a new body, new engine, new combination, new body rule. For everybody else, it's all new template rules and a lot of new stuff. I think we've got to get through Rockingham and Las Vegas. Las Vegas is a real smooth, high horsepower track. After those two races, I think we can get a good idea of where we're at. Then, I think you're going to hear the manufacturers start complaining again about who might have a better nose or a little better tail section. We're all running the same long templates, but the front and back of these things are completely night and day different. We need to look at that.
"I don't know why they (Chevrolets) were so good at Daytona. They had more power and a little less coefficient of drag. Four or five of them were cheating really, really hard and didn't get caught. The NASCAR guys know it, and they're out for them when they get to Talladega.
"I am a little nervous because I haven't tested here. This is all new for me. I'm a little comfortable because my teammate, Ryan Newman, did test here. He's got a lot of knowledge about the laps he ran. The cars are pretty identical. If we do get rained out and can't have any race practice, then I'll be relying on his setup to bail us out. I won't go back to last year's stuff because I wasn't happy with the way my car ran the last race. I'll be looking at his stuff and making decisions.
"I wish they'd do away with qualifying and get all the practice we could today. We know we're probably going to lose everything on Saturday. I wish they'd tell everybody we were going to shoot for race practice and scrub qualifying. That would be smart for everybody, I think. We'd start on last year's points, and I'd be up front. That'd be the way to go."