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NASCAR WCUP: Square D Racing/Kenny Wallace Weekly Review/Preview

29 September 1998

HARRISBURG, N.C. - In addition to bringing his helmet and firesuit to the racetrack, Square D Ford driver Kenny Wallace may start bringing a snake-bite kit as well. His short-lived run in yesterday's NAPA AutoCare 500 at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway marked the second straight week that Wallace posted a mechanical DNF that left him last in the running order. The St. Louis native arrived in Martinsville still carrying the fang marks from the Sept. 20 MBNA Gold 400 at Dover (Del.) where he completed just two laps before a blown engine took him out of that event.

"I'm pretty aggravated right now," said Wallace upon climbing from his car in Martinsville's garage area. "I was trying really hard coming from the back to the front, but we just had too small of a radiator on the car and the engine overheated."

While Wallace's day behind the wheel of the Square D Ford was over on lap 150, his driving duties continued elsewhere. Richard "Slugger" Labbe, crew chief for the No. 28 team of Robert Yates Racing, quickly recruited Wallace to pilot the Texaco Havoline Taurus in relief of driver Kenny Irwin, who was suffering from heat exhaustion. Wallace obliged and brought the 28 car home to a 27th place finish. Ironically, Wallace scored his best career NASCAR Winston Cup finish in 1994 while driving the No. 28 car at the fall Martinsville race for an injured Ernie Irvan.

A Roman poet by the name of Ovid (43 B.C.-17 A.D.) posed the question, 'Isn't the best defense always a good attack?' When Square D Ford driver Kenny Wallace arrives at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway to prepare for the UAW-GM Quality 500, in the spirit of Ovid, his defense will be to attack the 1.5-mile oval.

"I'm going into Charlotte on the defensive," said Wallace. "My dream this whole year would be to qualify in first round at Charlotte. That way, I can have a good time the whole week."

In qualifying for last year's UAW-GM Quality 500, Wallace had to turn an incredibly fast lap in second round qualifying in order to make the race. He succeeded, as he was the fastest second round qualifier.

"I had so much faith in my ability to make that car do what I wanted it to do," said Wallace. "At one o'clock in the afternoon, I ran so fast that it would've been the 13th quickest time overall. I pulled out one whale of a lap. Before I went out I said, 'Car, now look here. You've got two choices - either stick or wreck.' The car decided to stick because I was going no matter what."