NASCAR WCUP: Kenny Wallace Weekly Review/Preview
15 October 1998HARRISBURG, N.C., - Square D Ford driver Kenny Wallace started last Sunday's Winston 500 at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway from 42nd on the grid, and by the mid-point of the race, he had worked himself into the top-10. In fact, Wallace ran as high as eighth at one point, consistently manipulating the draft to his advantage. But on lap 107, a dropped valve sent Wallace behind the wall and into the garage area. The 35-year-old's day was over with still 81 laps remaining in the event. Wallace's early exit resulted in a 40th place finish.
"Despite the outcome, I'm still happy," said Wallace as the team loaded his No. 81 Taurus into the transporter. "We had a great run going after we had to take a provisional just to make the field. We came right to the front from all the way in the back. That's 12 DNFs now. I'm keeping the car up front and I'm doing everything I can do right now. We're up there running when we're running - we just blow up too often."
Of the 27 point races that Wallace has competed in, he has been running at the finish in 15 of them. Of those 15 races, his average finish is 17th. Also included in those 15 races are six top-10 finishes.
Looking on the bright side, Square D Ford driver Kenny Wallace enters Saturday night's Pepsi 400 at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway with an undamaged superspeedway car that he knows can race up front. Wallace had a top-10 run in the making in last week's Winston 500 until engine woes sidelined him on lap 107. Just 30 laps later, Talladega's traditional big wreck took out 11 cars. Obviously, Wallace wasn't one of them as his day was already over.
Unlike some teams, FILMAR Racing doesn't have to replace any sheet metal or repair any chassis parts. The car that they used at Talladega had been wind tunnel tested, and despite having to use another restrictor plate engine, the car is the same car that Wallace used to pick up 30+ positions in his march to the front behind drafting partner Jeremy Mayfield.
Wallace returns to Daytona with the special lightning paint scheme that adorned the contours of his Taurus in February's Bud Shootout. Wallace nearly won the event but had to settle for second. In this case however, second wasn't all that bad. He pushed older brother Rusty across the finish line first in a case of brotherly shove.
"The 1998 Bud Shootout was a great day for the Wallaces as we finished one- two," said the youngest Wallace brother. "Having lightning bolts back on the car for the Pepsi 400 is a good omen. To be able to race under the lights at Daytona is like running at the Brickyard for the first time - it's special. Although it's one of our older race tracks, it's just like a brand new beginning. We've had some strong runs at the superspeedways. We just need to finish."