NASCAR WCUP: Kenny Wallace Proves to be a Front-Runner
27 April 1999CHARLOTTE, N.C., - For the second time in two weeks, Square D Chevrolet driver Kenny Wallace and Andy Petree Racing (APR) teammate Ken Schrader have scored top-10 finishes.
At Martinsville (Va.) Speedway April 18, Wallace finished sixth and Schrader finished ninth. In Sunday's DieHard 500 at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway, Schrader finished sixth and Wallace finished seventh.
Wallace's strong run in the DieHard 500 vaulted him from 29th in the point standings to 23rd, while Schrader also moved from 16th in points to 13th.
"That was a great run for us," said Wallace after completing 188 laps around Talladega's 2.66-mile oval. "Everyone at APR - we've got a lot to be proud of. That's two weeks in a row of finishing in the top-10. It seemed like that week off (April 3-4) really helped turn our team around."
* * *
Still a relatively new venue for the NASCAR Winston Cup Series, California Speedway in Fontana has provided Andy Petree Racing (APR) with some success since its debut in 1997.
Three-year APR driver Ken Schrader, who is also a teammate to Square D Chevrolet driver Kenny Wallace, has claimed two NASCAR Winston West Series victories at the two-mile oval.
"It's like Michigan in its configuration," said Schrader, "but the racing groove is a lot like Las Vegas."
Which is why the Square D Racing Team rebuilt the car that was wrecked on lap 132 of the March 7 Las Vegas 400 in preparation for this Sunday's California 500 presented by NAPA.
"It took a pretty hard lick in Vegas," said crew chief Jimmy Elledge. "We ended up replacing the front clip, the rear clip, the right side frame rail and two of the door bars. Since we were so far into rebuilding the car, and since we learned some new things when it came to aerodynamics, we cut the body off the car and put a brand new one on it. It was basically a complete rebuild.
"The guys worked really hard on it. Within four days after the car returned from Vegas, they already had all the chassis work done to it. They stripped all of the bent bars and busted sheet metal, replaced it with all new stuff, and put the body on. In about nine days the car was back in our shop, where we finished it with about another week's worth of work.
"We build these cars to begin with," continued Elledge. "We just decide how far we want to rebuild them after they've been involved in a wreck.
"People may think a car is destroyed when it's really not. Even though it sounds like we did a lot to get this car ready for California, there was still a lot left on the car that was good. But when you start getting into cage damage and things of that sort, then it becomes a safety issue. When that's the case, we'll just cut the car up and throw it away."