Wallace Brings ...
Wallace Brings #22 AutoZone Ford Home 14th in Arizona 200
(PHOENIX, AZ) - Early Saturday morning, Kenny Wallace qualified 20th for the Arizona 200 at Phoenix International Raceway. By the time that the race got underway, the track had heated up and so did Wallace in the #22 AutoZone Ford. Kenny quickly moved from the middle of the pack up close to the top-ten, and he was eleventh by the time the first caution came out on lap 15.
"The AutoZone Ford didn't qualify as well as we hoped it would," Wallace explained. "The second lap felt pretty good, but we didn't pick up as much speed as we needed to. It was a lot warmer by the time the race started, and the car was really strong right from the beginning."
The Arizona 200 was marked by long green flag runs, and Wallace continued to battle just outside the top-ten for most of the day. Wallace reported that the AutoZone Ford was tight in the middle of the corners at the beginning of a run, but then the car would really come to life as the laps clicked away.
"We really had a strong car all day long," Wallace said. "Our car definitely got better towards the end of the run and I was able to make up ground on the cars in front of me. The AutoZone pit crew really came through for us today, and they picked up spots for us on every stop."
The final caution of the day came on lap 176, and Wallace brought the AutoZone Ford down pit road for fresh tires, fuel, and final adjustments. Wes Ward and the AutoZone team decided that the only change to the #22 AutoZone Ford would be to raise the air pressure for the short run to the finish.
"The team decided to raise the air pressure on that final stop so that I didn't have to wait for the tires to come up to pressure on the final short run," Wallace explained. "I felt like we had a good chance to finish in the top-ten, and we put a couple of pounds of air in the tires at the end there to try to get a quick sprint, but it was too much and we ended up losing spots right at the end."
"I'm disappointed with the finish because that's the best run we've had in a long time," Wallace said. "We had a very positive test at Homestead last week, and the AutoZone team is going down there looking to finish off the season on a strong note and give us something to build on over the winter."
This coming weekend the NASCAR Busch Series travels to Homestead-Miami Speedway for the final race of the 2005 season. Live coverage of the Ford 300 will begin Saturday, November 19 at 4:00 p.m. ET on TNT.