Wally Dallenbach Indianapolis Preview

Fresh off his second straight top-10 finish, Budweiser driver Wally Dallenbach and the No. 25 Hendrick Motorsports Team head to Indianapolis for the Brickyard 400 on Aug. 7 with renewed confidence and realistic hopes of reaching victory...

Fresh off his second straight top-10 finish, Budweiser driver Wally Dallenbach and the No. 25 Hendrick Motorsports Team head to Indianapolis for the Brickyard 400 on Aug. 7 with renewed confidence and realistic hopes of reaching victory lane at the historic 2.5-mile track. Dallenbach finished fifth in the Pennsylvania 500 at Pocono on July 25, his best finish ever on a superspeedway and the first time he's ever put together back-to-back top-10 finishes. Indianapolis Motor Speedway is the next stop for Dallenbach's top-10 tour, and the 36-year-old New Jersey native says the No. 25 Budweiser team also will contend for checkered flags at Watkins Glen and Michigan. "The next three races will be really good opportunities to capitalize on," Dallenbach said. "I love running at the Brickyard, and we'll run good at Watkins Glen and Michigan. "The cars have been good for me all year. We've had strong runs going and something would happen. We've had some good finishes the past couple of weeks, and it just shows the potential of what we've got if we can just have everything click. "We've been there all year. We were running ninth or 10th at Daytona when we got involved in a wreck. We've been having some problems, but the team is a good team and now we're starting to show what we can do. "We've got a lot of races to go this year. All I worry about is the next race. I don't worry about next year. We'll just keep doing what we're doing and maybe we'll win some races." Dallenbach will not return to the No. 25 Hendrick Motorsports team next season, and Budweiser will not return as the sponsor, but the former Trans-Am Champion says that doesn't really matter. "I'm very focused on the rest of the season and doing a good job for the Hendrick team and Budweiser," Dallenbach said. "Things happen for a reason. I was in the same situation this time last year when I got this ride. We've had some good runs here, and we've been running good all year long. "The situation doesn't matter. I do the same thing all the time. It's good for the team. It's good for everybody. We'll go to Indy and see if we can't bump it up a couple of notches." Dallenbach moved from 20th to 18th in the series standings following his fifth-place finish at Pocono. He's only 40 points out of 15th place and says the Budweiser team is capable of climbing the points ladder in the final 15 races. "Things have come together, and we're just going to run as hard as we can for the rest of the season and try to get that win," Dallenbach said. "Regardless of what happens next year, it doesn't change my outlook on what I do every weekend. I know the team is behind me, and John Hendrick assured me that they are going to give me everything they'd given me all year long and they aren't going to hold back anything. "The rest of the season is as important to them as it is to me. Nothing has really changed. Talk is cheap, but I think Pocono shows the team is still hungry and it's business as usual." And business as usual means running out front. There's no strategy involved, according to Dallenbach. It's flat out, pedal to the metal all day. "You can't leave anything on the table. One mistake can cost you 10 or 15 positions. Whether it's a driver mistake or a pit stop mistake or a strategy call or even a mistake when you come in and adjust on the race car. If you go the wrong way, you can lose a lap in just one fuel stop window. You have to minimize your mistakes, and the guys who are running up front and winning races aren't making mistakes. You can't leave anything on the table anymore. One wrong move in a 500-mile race can cost you a lap or 10 or 15 positions. "After Happy Hour, we sit down and start putting things on the table. If you have a good Happy Hour, you're trying to get one step ahead. Sometimes we've made some changes that have bit us, and sometimes we've made some changes that have helped us. Sometimes it'll rain on Saturday night and change the track on Sunday. "The communication thing is so important between the crew chief and the driver. Tony (crew chief Furr) has got to the point where he knows the feel I'm looking for, and he knows what I want in a race car. That takes time. You can't get that overnight. "We've been together for a little less than a year now. It takes a year for things to gel between a team and a driver and a crew chief. It really does take time. Some teams can get it together a little quicker, but I feel we had a really good race team this year. We should be a lot better than we are in the points, but it's good to know that every time I go to the track I've got a race car that has the potential to finish in the top 10."

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Wally Dallenbach
Teams Hendrick Motorsports