Las Vegas Motor Speedway is a popular stop on the NASCAR Busch Series schedule for both spectators and competitors. After a good preseason test at Las Vegas, Kenny Wallace and the Stacker 2/YJ Stinger team felt they had a legitimate shot to be in...
Las Vegas Motor Speedway is a popular stop on the NASCAR Busch Series schedule for both spectators and competitors. After a good preseason test at Las Vegas, Kenny Wallace and the Stacker 2/YJ Stinger team felt they had a legitimate shot to be in victory lane at the end of the Sam's Town 300.
After the Stacker 2 team unloaded the No. 23, they knew they had some work to do to get to the top of the leader board. Wallace reported that the car handled loose on entry and exit of the turns. The team worked hard during the morning practice session to correct the problem. Wallace said the new motor program produced considerably more horsepower than previous years.
When Wallace went out to qualify the Stacker 2/YJ Stinger Chevrolet, he said the car was still very loose on entry and exit of the turns, which hindered him from producing a fast lap. He posted the 27th fastest time.
"The car does not have a good balance," Wallace reported after qualifying. "We have been working hard to try to find the balance, but it really seems to be loose on both entrance and exit."
The team put a completely different set-up on the car for the final practice session. Wallace and crew chief Chris Rice believed the changes would help the Stacker 2/YJ Stinger Chevy handle better. The car seemed to have better balance, but it remained loose in the corners on long runs. Rice and Co. did not give up. They changed the set-up again before the race, this time trying a combination that would hopefully help the car in the corners. Rice knew it was a risky move since Wallace did not practice on the set-up, but to be competitive, the team needed to take drastic measures.
When the green flag on Saturday, the Stacker 2/YJ Stinger Chevy began a steady charge to the front. The car responded to the changes, and Wallace began complaining of a tight handling condition.
The first caution of the day on lap 31 allowed the Stacker 2/YJ Stinger team to make changes to the car. Wallace pitted on lap 34 for four tires, fuel and adjustments.
By lap 70, Wallace was in 22nd with lap times faster than that of the leader. The car was reacting to the changes the Stacker 2 team made on the last pit stop.
When Wallace went a lap down to the leader Matt Kenseth on lap 81, the team decided it was time for another pit stop. On lap 89, Wallace pitted for four tires, fuel, and air pressure and wedge adjustments. Wallace returned to the track two laps down to Kenseth.
Shortly after Wallace pitted, the caution flag flew. Wallace restarted on lap 107 in 20th, two laps behind the leader.
Wallace and the Stacker 2/YJ Stinger team was moving to the front and hoping that if they remained on the track while the others pitted and a caution flew, then they would make up their lost laps. This did not work out, and the Stacker 2/YJ Stinger Chevrolet ran out of gas on lap 163. Wallace brought the car to pit road for four tires and fuel.
During the lap 169 caution, Wallace reported that there was something wrong with the car. After three visits to pit road, the team located the problem in the car's rear end. They changed the right side axle under caution so Wallace would not lose another lap. Wallace said the new axle corrected the problem and went on to finish 25th. He now stands 13th in the Busch Series drivers' standings, 190 points behind leader Kevin Harvick, who won the race.
Next Event: The Busch Series has a week off while the Nextel Cup drivers battle in Atlanta. The Busch Series returns to action in two weeks at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway.