Wallace and the AutoZone Team Gain Four Positions in the Points Standings, Finish 13th (Concord, N.C.) May 27, 2006 -- Kenny Wallace and the No. 22 AutoZone team came into Lowe's Motor Speedway with high expectations after a positive test ...
Wallace and the AutoZone Team Gain Four Positions in the Points Standings, Finish 13th
(Concord, N.C.) May 27, 2006 -- Kenny Wallace and the No. 22 AutoZone team came into Lowe's Motor Speedway with high expectations after a positive test session at the same track just weeks before. Those expectations were reinforced when Kenny placed the AutoZone Ford up front, qualifying in the 3rd position for Saturday night's CARQUEST Auto Parts 300 at Lowe's Motor Speedway.
"I think we've turned the corner with this team, us practicing and qualifying up front is not just a fluke," stated Wallace.
When the green flag flew Saturday evening, Wallace came across the radio on lap 2 stating the AutoZone Ford was tight from the middle out. On lap 10, the caution flag was displayed when Tony Stewart wrecked just in front of Kenny causing him to do some quick maneuvering down into the grass on the front stretch. Crew chief Todd Gordon made the call to bring the AutoZone Ford down pit road on lap 11 to survey any potential damage. The crew quickly went to work and put on four fresh ties, fuel, and worked on some minor fender damage. Concerned that the fender was still rubbing, Kenny brought the No. 22 car down pit road a second time for repairs to the left front fender. The AutoZone Ford restarted the race in the 32nd position.
With several laps remaining in the 300-mile race, Kenny eased his way through the field and climbed into the top-20 by lap 64. On lap 68, Kenny reported in a tight handling condition and that the AutoZone Ford appeared to be "bouncing hard in the corners." Green flag pits stops began cycling through on lap 70 and Kenny remained out on the track to lead two laps before bringing the AutoZone Ford down pit road on lap 78 for four fresh tires, fuel, a right rear air pressure and track bar adjustment. Back out on the track the handling woes continued. Kenny continued to fight a tight handling condition stating "the car just won't turn in and it is tight in the middle".
Crew chief Todd Gordon called Kenny to pit road under caution on lap 111 for fuel, a wedge adjustment and two pounds down on the right rear. The changes appeared to make the difference and the AutoZone Ford broke into the top-15 on lap 131 and never looked back.
Two more pit stops occurred on laps 138 and 179 for minor adjustments to help free the car up.
The No. 22 AutoZone Ford crossed the finish line in the 13th position. Saturday night's solid finish helped the team gain valuable positions in the point's standings. The AutoZone team moved up four places and is now 11th in the points standings, just 61 points out of tenth place.