Shepherd to Sub for Dallenbach at Bristol

MOORESVILLE, N.C. (March 26, 1998) Wally Dallenbach, driver of Team SABCO's No. 46 First Union Chevrolet, will miss this weekend's Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway after being diagnosed with a hernia. Dallenbach, 34,...

MOORESVILLE, N.C. (March 26, 1998)

Wally Dallenbach, driver of Team SABCO's No. 46 First Union Chevrolet, will miss this weekend's Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway after being diagnosed with a hernia.

Dallenbach, 34, under advice from his physician, opted to bow out of the Bristol race in order to recuperate. The team is hopeful Dallenbach will return for the April 5 Texas 500 at the Texas Motor Speedway.

Veteran NASCAR driver Morgan Shepherd will replace Dallenbach this weekend in the No. 46 Chevrolet . According to Team SABCO president Felix Sabates, Shepherd, 56, of Conover, N.C., was the logical choice.

"Morgan is a talented driver with significant Bristol experience," Sabates said. "It's unfortunate for him that he's been without a ride so far this year. But it's fortunate for us he was available to fill in until Wally is well enough to drive again."

Last weekend, Shepherd came to the aid of the injured Mike Skinner, who needed a relief driver at Darlington. Shepherd took over driving duties in the No. 31 Lowe's Chevrolet after Skinner got out at the first caution. This weekend, Skinner's Richard Childress Racing team will need to find another substitute if they intend on taking their pilot out this weekend at Bristol.

Dallenbach's condition was diagnosed early this morning. According to his physician, the flu-like symptoms that struck Dallenbach three weeks ago during the PRIMESTAR 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway were more than likely that of the hernia condition. It is not known whether Dallenbach will eventually require surgery. However, he has been prescribed medication to alleviate discomfort.

"I'm in discomfort and the doctors want me to take it easy for a week," Dallenbach said. "I feel badly that I can't be there to qualify even higher than last August (when he qualified 11th). I was looking forward to the return.

"We think we really have a good setup for Bristol again. I'm sure Morgan will do well in the car that Gary (Grossenbacher, crew chief) and the guys have prepared. I wanted to give First Union a great run this weekend, but I didn't want to jeopardize it by going against doctor's orders to step out for just a week. I'll be all right. I heal fast." Source: NASCAR Online

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Wally Dallenbach Sr. , Morgan Shepherd , Felix Sabates
Teams Richard Childress Racing