Great Showing for Kenny Wallace and the AutoZone Team in the Lonestar State Ft. Worth, TX -- Winding down to the last few remaining races in the 2006 season, Kenny Wallace and the AutoZone team knew the importance of a strong showing at Texas ...
Great Showing for Kenny Wallace and the AutoZone Team in the Lonestar State
Ft. Worth, TX -- Winding down to the last few remaining races in the 2006 season, Kenny Wallace and the AutoZone team knew the importance of a strong showing at Texas Motor Speedway. Starting from the 25th position, Wallace piloted the No. 22 AutoZone Ford Fusion through the 43-car field to finish in the 16th position.
ppc Racing has gone to great lengths this season to ensure that their mile-and-a-half track program was up to speed. With that said, the AutoZone team was anxious to unload chassis # 38 and take to the track.
"The car was not bad when we unloaded but we knew we had some tweaking to do," explained Crew Chief Todd Gordon.
The No. 22 AutoZone Ford Fusion posted speeds of 184.043 mph in the first practice session and 183.836 mph in the final practice session. Optimistic as Wallace took to the track for qualifying, he placed the No. 22 machine mid-field in the 25th starting position.
As the green flag fell, Wallace maintained track position and ran in the top-20 for the beginning laps of the Texas Challenge. On lap five he would report in, "I'm a little free off."
The handling condition of the race car slowly began to change and Wallace radioed in, "I can't free it up any" on lap 26.
The No. 22 AutoZone machine would make its first pit stop under caution on lap 31 for four fresh tires, fuel and a slight air pressure adjustment. Wallace restarted the race in the 21st position.
Less than 40 laps later and keeping in sequence with the leaders, the No. 22 returned to pit road for four tires, fuel and a track bar adjustment to help alleviate a "wiggly" race car. The AutoZone team would again restart in the 21st position.
Lap after lap the car began to turn in Wallace's favor. At the midway point of the race he radioed in, "the car is a lot better. Let's see if I can gain us some track position."
Wallace piloted the AutoZone Ford Fusion as high as the 18th position before making his final pit stop on lap 138 for tires and fuel.
"I never gave up on the team or the car. The handling turned itself around but towards the closing laps I felt a terrible aero push," explained Wallace. "We needed a strong run and I think when it was all said and done we managed to have a strong showing overall."
In the final few laps, Wallace drove his way through the field to gain 12 spots. The No. 22 AutoZone Ford Fusion finished Saturday's race in the 16th position and closed in on the 10th spot in driver standings. Wallace and the AutoZone team sit in the 11th position, just 16 points out 10th with two races remaining in the 2006 season.
-credit: ppc racing