Dallenbach returns to Bud car for 1999 season TALLADEGA, Ala. (Oct. 9, 1998) John Hendrick, president of Hendrick Motorsports, has announced that veteran driver Wally Dallenbach Jr. has been named to pilot Hendrick Motorsports Budweiser ...
Dallenbach returns to Bud car for 1999 season
TALLADEGA, Ala. (Oct. 9, 1998) John Hendrick, president of Hendrick Motorsports, has announced that veteran driver Wally Dallenbach Jr. has been named to pilot Hendrick Motorsports Budweiser Chevrolet for the full 34-race NASCAR Winston Cup Series schedule in 1999. Dallenbach, who is at Talladega Superspeedway to qualify for Sunday's Winston 500, has been at the wheel of the Budweiser Chevrolet for 11 races this season, including the last eight in a fill-in capacity. He also drove the Budweiser car in the Winston Open at Charlotte Motor Speedway in May. The 35-year-old native of New Brunswick, N.J., has posted three top-10 finishes in the 11 races he has driven for Hendrick. He finished 10th at Michigan in June and placed seventh the following week at Pocono. He recorded an eighth-place finish in the No. 50 car in the second Michigan race in August. "We are delighted to have Wally in the Budweiser car for 1999," Hendrick said. "In the races he has run for us this season, he has shown us his abilities and talents as a driver on this circuit, as well as his dedication to helping this team improve and become a regular contender. "Wally and crew chief Tony Furr have meshed together well and do a good job of communicating with each other regarding the race car. "With the timing of this announcement, it means Wally, Tony and the whole Hendrick organization can concentrate on making some good runs the rest of this season and also put extra emphasis on preparing for accelerated improvement in the 1999 season." "Budweiser Racing is excited to have Wally Dallenbach Jr. as our driver for the 1999 NASCAR Winston Cup season," said Tony Ponturo, vice president, corporate media and sports marketing for Anheuser-Busch, Inc. "Wally is an excellent driver who has performed well under difficult circumstances this season and we fully support Hendrick Motorsports' decision to bring him back next season. The chemistry between Wally and the team has been very positive and we look forward to a successful '99 season." "I really appreciate John and everybody at Budweiser and Hendrick Motorsports giving me this opportunity," Dallenbach said. "This is a class organization with a lot of smart people and, in my opinion, the very best racing outfit, not only in Winston Cup, but in all of auto racing. "We've had some good runs this year in the races I've driven, and at the same time, we've struggled some in other races. But I believe that's all part of the growing and maturing process, something that takes a while before that thing called 'chemistry' kicks in. "Knowing that I'll be with this Budweiser team next year means Tony and I and the rest of the guys can really start focusing on what we need to do to become more competitive each and every event. We have a lot to look forward to, and I believe there is a tremendous amount of potential for this team to really come together and be a force in Winston Cup racing. "Being teammates with Jeff Gordon and Terry Labonte is a thrill, too. They have set the standard and we'd like to continue that tradition. It's truly an honor to have this chance with Hendrick Motorsports, and I'm committed to doing all I can to make it work for all of us." The son of Wally Dallenbach, a former world-class driver who currently serves as chief steward for the CART FedEx Championship Series, Dallenbach Jr. began racing at a small road course not far from his childhood home of Basalt, Colo. It was there that Dallenbach honed the skills that have helped him become one of the most highly regarded road racers in America. Returning to his native East Coast after high school, Dallenbach gained valuable "seat time" in various divisions of racing including NASCAR Modified cars. In 1983, he joined forces with Dan Gurney in an IMSA/GTU ride, and notched his first career victories at Riverside (Calif.) and Charlotte Motor Speedway. The next year, after forming an SCCA Trans-Am team with his father, Dallenbach finished fourth in the series standings and earned rookie of the year honors. Dallenbach, who is still seeking his first NASCAR Winston Cup Series victory, continues to display his road-course prowess in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series and particularly enjoys Watkins Glen International. He posted second-place finishes at the Bud at The Glen in 1993 and 1995, his highest finishes so far in the series. He spent parts of the last two seasons with Team SABCO before being named one of the fill-in drivers for the Budweiser Team this year, after being released from SABCO's No. 46 Chevrolet.
Source: NASCAR Online