Kenny Wallace tops Hills Bros. All Pro Series field at Bristol Motor Speedway. BRISTOL, TN. (August 21 2002) - Kenny Wallace made his third Hills Bros. All Pro Series, NASCAR Touring start a charm Wednesday evening at Bristol Motor Speedway ...
Kenny Wallace tops Hills Bros. All Pro Series field at Bristol Motor Speedway.
BRISTOL, TN. (August 21 2002) - Kenny Wallace made his third Hills Bros. All Pro Series, NASCAR Touring start a charm Wednesday evening at Bristol Motor Speedway winning the Charter/Hardee's 250.
Wallace, driving the Richie Wauters prepared Victor Ford, and a regular on the NASCAR Busch Series, Grand National Division, finished runnerup in 2001 to Jeff Fultz at Bristol and this time outlasted a hard charging Shane Sieg to give Ford its first series victory since July 2001. With this win, Wallace added his name to the series record books. Finishing behind Wallace was Shane Sieg with his S & W Motorsports Chevrolet, Jeff Fultz, last year's winner, with his C & C Boiler/CleaverBrooks Chevrolet, Benny Gordon with his Johnny's Haulmark Trailers Pontiac and Greg Pope with his Lafferty Engines Creations Chevrolet.
"Man I don't know who was in the 39 car but I have never seen a car go that fast around Bristol Motor Speedway," said Wallace in his post-race interview.
He was referring to 19 year old Shane Sieg who turned in his career best driving performance after winning his first career Bud Pole Start in qualifying.
"He had his car on a string and it is just too bad that he had a penalty in the pits because he should have won this race," continued Wallace. Sieg led the first 106 laps before making a pit stop during the sixth of eight race cautions. One crew member got a little anxious and was over the pit wall too early causing the team to be assessed a 15 second penalty.
Do I enjoy running with this series and what does it do for my career Wallace was asked in the post race interview. "It does nothing for my career," said Wallace, "but hopefully I can help the series. My brother Rusty has supported this series through the years and back into the early All Pro days with Bob Harmon plus Richie Wauters and I are close friends."
"When he called me about three weeks ago and asked me to drive this race I jumped at the chance because this is a tough series and there are some outstanding drivers in this division of NASCAR and besides this is Bristol."
Sieg led the field in qualifying when he took his S & W Motorsports Chevrolet around the .533-mile oval in 15.944 Secs (120.346 mph). "The car felt so good," said Sieg who turned 20 on August 23. "Guess I gave myself a birthday present. I have an outstanding crew led by Larry Rapp, one of the best crew chiefs in this division. They put an excellent car under me every race and that is evident in our finishes this year.
When asked about his penalty and losing a lap, Sieg said, " I just tried to stay focused because I knew I had such a good car. Yes I was disappointed and it might have cost us the race but we just did what we had to do and we will take a second at Bristol anytime. This is a tough track and things can happen so fast which was very evident tonight with so many cars falling out of the race."
Sieg set a very fast pace for the field and left the rest of the field challenging for various positions until the race waved the fourth caution when Steven Howard's Greer Floor Covering Chevrolet cut down a tire and spun on the front stretch.
With close racing, eight cars were involved in the caution with five cars exiting the event with damage. The race was red flagged for 23 minutes to clear the track. The cars of Stanley Smith, Joe Aramendia and Michael Britt continued when the field restarted but soon took their cars behind the wall.
Eleven laps earlier the car of Charlie Bradberry spun coming off turn two to bring out the third race caution and ending his night of racing. Bradberry dropped from second to third in points with his early exit. When Sieg made his stop for Hoosier Tires and Union 76 Gas, Wallace, A. J. Frank and Pope also pitted turning the lead over to Chris Davidson with Randy Gentry, Fultz, Gordon and Wallace rounding out the top five. Gordon had his Pontiac on the move and when Gentry had to pit for a right rear flat tire, Gordon took the lead away from Davidson with Wallace close behind.
Wallace chased Gordon for the next 55 laps but was not able to make the pass as Gordon worked traffic keeping Wallace's Ford in second. Wallace closed on Gordon's back bumper on lap 192 when the leader had slower traffic in front of him but Gordon was able to open a five-car lead again.
Wallace finally made the pass on Gordon on lap 231 to take the lead which he held to the finish despite a final race caution on lap 238. Sieg was able to pass Gordon for second but just ran out of laps trying for his first career win.
Rounding out the top ten finishers were: David Reutimann, Wayne Anderson, Davidson, Billy Bigley Jr. and Erik Darnell. Sieg led the most laps and earned his first Gatorade "FrontRunner" Award with Jason Hogan being the top finishing rookie candidate for the fifth time in 10 races.
The race will be shown as a tape delayed event on the Speed Channel on September 30. The next event for this series will be the Hills Bros. 150 on September 14 at Southern National Speedway in Kenly, N. C.