NASCAR: Square D Racing Review/Preview
10 September 1998HARRISBURG, N.C., - Square D Ford driver Kenny Wallace scored his sixth top-10 finish of the 1998 season in last Sunday's Pepsi Southern 500 at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway. Wallace and the FILMAR team overcame their 39th place starting spot, their backstretch pit assignment, a five-second penalty for speeding on pit road, and the distractions from a week of impending personnel changes.
"All I can say is that this was a helluva comeback," said Wallace. "We had to take a provisional and pit on the backstretch and we still finished 10th. Thank God there weren't a lot of cautions because that kept us in the race. Considering how the first of the week went, I'm really happy with a top-10."
Prior to the Darlington weekend, it was officially announced that Wallace and Square D would join Andy Petree Racing in a two-car effort for 1999. On the heels of that announcement, FILMAR crew chief Newt Moore stated his intentions to move to the No. 77 Winston Cup team of Robert Pressley, and FILMAR team manager Eddie D'Hondt also stated that he was moving to the No. 13 team of Elliott-Marino Motorsports to serve as their team manager. Veteran mechanic David Ifft will serve as interim crew chief for the remaining nine Winston Cup races, while a team manager has yet to be appointed.
Despite the recent changes at FILMAR, Square D Ford driver Kenny Wallace heads into Saturday's Exide NASCAR Select Batteries 400 at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway with proven horsepower and a proven crew chief.
Wallace's two top-10s in a row, including a season-best sixth place finish in the CMT 300 at New Hampshire International Speedway (NHIS), have come with Robert Yates-built engines. Riding a wave of front-running consistency, FILMAR Racing will continue to lease engines from Robert Yates Racing for this weekend. Originally, the team was going to use Yates' engines at NHIS and Darlington only, and then return with FILMAR Engineering powerplants at Richmond. However, drastically improved performances over the past two races prompted FILMAR management to stick with Yates-made horsepower for at least one more weekend.
Interim crew chief David Ifft, who had been working with ARCA and part-time NASCAR Busch Series, Grand National Division driver Gary Laton, will once again fill the crew chief role at FILMAR. Ironically, it was Ifft who served as crew chief in last year's June event at Dover, as Gil Martin was released prior to that event. However, Ifft's tenure with Wallace didn't begin at Dover. In Wallace's first full season of Busch Series competition in 1989, Ifft was Wallace's crew chief.