NASCAR WCUP: Square D Racing Weekly Review/Preview
4 August 1998HARRISBURG, N.C., (Aug. 3, 1998) - Kenny Wallace's promising day in the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway came to an abrupt end on lap 65 when the engine expired in his Square D Ford. The DNF and subsequent 43rd place finish was a tough pill to swallow for the FILMAR team, as Wallace had been running in the 12th slot.
The short day was made even more painful by the fact that the team had made significant improvements from their 23rd place qualifying run on Thursday to their performance in happy hour on Friday. Wallace posted the 18th quickest time in practice following qualifying and then bettered that mark with the 13th fastest time in happy hour.
The enthusiasm of improved performance carried into the race when Wallace methodically began picking off positions on the track and on pit road. The 34-year-old's drive on the 2.5-mile oval netted him track position as did the stellar work of FILMAR's over-the-wall crew. However, engine woes prevented the No. 81 squad from continuing their march to the front.
The second and final road course event on the 1998 NASCAR Winston Cup schedule is this Sunday's Bud at The Glen. The twisting 2.45-mile layout of Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International gives Square D Ford driver Kenny Wallace a chance to cut loose from the traditional oval tracks and instead turn left and right on the winding road course.
"While we're in this 16-race stretch, Watkins Glen is a nice break from the circle track races," said Wallace. "Whenever you can run a road course, it helps a driver like myself close the gap between the Mark Martin and Rusty Wallace type road racers.
"I drive Watkins Glen a lot differently than I drive Sears Point, because while they're both road courses, they still have very different characteristics. Watkins Glen is kind of like a speedway in that you don't have to do a lot of hard turning. At Sears Point, you're really sawing at that wheel when you go through the corners.
Watkins Glen's corners are sweeping, except for the chicane down the back straightaway. You just really need to make sure that you grab all the gears when you need to and hit your brakes in the proper spots on the race track."