NASCAR: Square D Racing Review/Preview
19 May 1998
"The night didn't turn out the way we would've wanted it to," said Wallace. "Nonetheless, we raced hard and we were competitive. The car we raced with was a new car that we needed to evaluate, and we did that. Our performance was better than it was the other night in our No Bull 25 race. We're really working hard. We're not satisfied with where we are, but we're still going after it."
Surviving the longest event on the NASCAR Winston Cup Series' 33-race schedule is a two-fold process according to Square D Ford driver Kenny Wallace. One needs to be physically prepared to sustain the 400 grueling laps that make up the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Additionally, one must also take care of his equipment in order to be competitive in the last 100 miles, which is 100 miles more than any other Winston Cup race.
"From a physical standpoint, I'm drinking a lot of water and a lot of Gatorade and I'm eating healthy meals at home," said Wallace. "It's incredibly humid - we found that out during the No Bull 25s and The Winston Open, so you've got to stay hydrated. Whatever you sweat out you've got to put back in. We'll also have an air conditioning system hooked up in the car that will pump cool, fresh air into my helmet.
"In The Winston Open, I drove as hard as I could every single lap, but it was only a 50-lap race. In the 600 though, you just can't do that. You need to conserve your equipment so that you're around for the finish - and on the lead lap. I know I've said it before, but you must first finish to finish first. That's exactly the case with the 600."
Kenny Wallace's Charlotte Performance Profile:
Year Event Start Finish Status/Laps Earnings 1997 Coca-Cola 600 23 39 Accident/192 $25,400 UAW-GM 500 26 28 Running/330 $23,150 1996 Coca -Cola 600 16 32 Engine/332 $8,445 UAW-GM 500 41 30 Running/325 $8,365 1995 Coca -Cola 600 37 31 Rear End/333 $6,750 1994 Mello Yellow 500 21 14 Running/332 $22,100 1993 Coca -Cola 600 24 23 Running/392 $10,000 Mello Yellow 500 42 35 Running/304 $5,975 1991 Coca -Cola 600 19 13 Running/398 $17,700Editors Note: The images displayed in this article (plus many more) can be viewed in The Racing Image Galleries and the Visions of Speed Art Gallery.