Wally Dallenbach finished fifth in July at Pocono Raceway, and the Budweiser team has decided to bring that Monte Carlo to Richmond International Raceway for Saturday night's Exide NASCAR Select Batteries 400. So why would a car that ran well...
Wally Dallenbach finished fifth in July at Pocono Raceway, and the Budweiser team has decided to bring that Monte Carlo to Richmond International Raceway for Saturday night's Exide NASCAR Select Batteries 400.
So why would a car that ran well at a 2.5-mile triangular track be suited for the .750-mile D-shaped Richmond layout?
"We made some changes to the car, and we're hoping for the best," Dallenbach said. "We figured that the car got through the corners so well at Pocono that we'd be in good shape with it at Richmond.
"I don't think many people have turned their Pocono cars into Richmond cars. I don't know of anyone, actually. We're either going to be really, really good or really, really bad. We're gambling it's going to be good."
Dallenbach doesn't consider himself a gambling man, but he's willing to do anything to park in victory lane at least once in the last 10 races of the season.
"Actually, I gamble a lot," Dallenbach said. "I just don't gamble at the tables."
With a 21st-place run last week in the Pepsi Southern 500 at Darlington, Dallenbach remained 16th in the NASCAR Winston Cup standings. He's just 71 points out of 13th and could make up most of that ground with a solid showing under the lights Saturday night at Richmond.
"We had a good run at Darlington, but it killed us pitting on the backstretch, and we gave up too much ground on the first 10-15 laps with new tires," the former SCCA champion said. "We were good on the long runs, but we just didn't have enough green-flag racing."
Dallenbach is counting on plenty of wide-open competition at Richmond. There's enough room for three-wide racing at the .750-mile track, and that's just fine with Dallenbach.
"Richmond is a fun track," he said. "It's always fun racing at night, and it's a great track for racing. It's big enough, and there's plenty of room.
"You've got to expect some bumping and banging. Heck, we have that at Daytona, but if someone gets into you at Richmond, you've usually got enough room to recover. You don't always end up in the wall like you might at some of these tracks.
"We didn't qualify well at Richmond last time. We had to use a provisional starting spot, and we've only done that three times all year. It's important to qualify well everywhere, and we qualified well at Richmond last year. We started 14th in last year's fall race, and we need to get in a good qualifying lap on Friday night."
Dallenbach put together a string of three top-10 finishes in four races beginning with the Jiffy Lube 300 at Loudon, N.H., in July and moved from 21st to 15th in the standings after his seventh-place showing at Watkins Glen.
Dallenbach is 292 points out of 10th place entering the final 10 events, but he's confident the No. 25 Budweiser Chevrolet team can make up plenty of ground in the stretch run.
"We really want to win a race before the end of the season," Dallenbach said. "I'm sure 42 other guys want to do the same thing. We're realistic. We know we can't win everywhere we go, but we also know that we've got a good chance of winning at some of the these upcoming tracks.
"I love racing at New Hampshire, Charlotte, Talladega and Atlanta, and everyone is going to be on equal ground at Homestead. We've had some fun and some good runs this season, but it would make it a shorter winter if we could win one of these last 10 races.
"Maybe we can drive that Pocono Chevy into victory lane at Richmond."