Wally Dallenbach finished seventh in the No. 25 Budweiser Monte Carlo earlier this season at New Hampshire International Speedway, and the 36-year-old New Jersey native says he'll have a few new tricks up his sleeve on Sunday at the Magic ...
Wally Dallenbach finished seventh in the No. 25 Budweiser Monte Carlo earlier this season at New Hampshire International Speedway, and the 36-year-old New Jersey native says he'll have a few new tricks up his sleeve on Sunday at the Magic Mile.
The 1.058-mile track in Loudon, N.H., has always been one of Dallenbach's favorites. He's experienced his share of hard knocks at the 12-degree banked layout, but Dallenbach plans to deliver a knockout punch in Sunday's Dura Lube/Kmart 300 NASCAR Winston Cup race at NHIS.
"If the car is as good when we start as it was when we finished there last time, we'll be in pretty good shape," Dallenbach said. "I know we might run into some problems with the weather, but I really don't care if we miss Friday and Saturday.
"This hurricane might get ugly, but who knows where it's going to end up. I really don't care if we get any practice or not. What really concerns me now is getting up there on Thursday. That might really throw a wrench into it."
Gas mileage threw a wrench into the last race at New Hampshire for many teams. The Budweiser team pitted for fuel during the late stages of the race, giving up a shot at a potential victory. Other cars that didn't pit ran out of fuel, and some ran out many laps before planned pit stops.
Bottom line. It's difficult to figure out MPG at NHIS.
"Gas mileage went a long way in determining the outcome of that race, and it's really tough to calculate fuel mileage at that track," Dallenbach said. "It all depends on how many yellow-flag laps, the weather conditions, how the race motor is tuned and the gear you run.
"You really won't know until Happy Hour on Saturday what type of mileage you can expect. If we don't get any practice, you may not ever know. I'd say there might be three or four laps difference in some cars there as far as fuel mileage goes.
"If that's the case and you have three pit stops, you're talking a difference of roughly 10 laps during the race. That might not be enough to change your race strategy, but then again, it just might be."
Dallenbach could use a strong run at New Hampshire to gain ground lost in the series standings last week at Richmond. A 28th-place finished dropped the former SCCA champion to 17th after 25 of 34 events in 1999. With nine races remaining, Dallenbach and company could gain plenty of ground. Just 107 points behind 13th-place John Andretti, Dallenbach has been ranked as high as ninth this year.
Top-10 finishes in three of four races beginning with the Jiffy Lube 300 at Loudon in July moved Dallenbach from 21st to 15th on the points ladder.
"We're still giving it everything we've got and we really want to win a race before the season's over," Dallenbach said. "New Hampshire would really be a great place to do it.
"We had a good race car at New Hampshire last time, and I'm really looking forward to going back. We're taking the same car. If we can improve on qualifying a little bit, I think we'll be in real good shape. Track position hurt us a little bit last time, but the car handled good and really rolled through the corners. If the car doesn't cut through the corners at New Hampshire, you're junk.
"I really like the flat tracks. I always have. It puts more emphasis on driving the car in the corners. I run good on the flat tracks, but then I really enjoy racing at Talladega, too, and that's about as banked as you can get. At the flat tracks like Loudon, Phoenix, Pocono and Indy, it all boils down to having a good car. It's going to be a long day if you don't."