The Michigan Malfunction
August 23, 2006
Denver, CO- Furniture Row® Racing’s CUP and Busch team both failed to qualify at Michigan International Speedway last weekend.
CUP driver Kenny Wallace spun out in turn three during qualifying.
This mishap was the first time Wallace has spun out during qualifying in his 20-year racing career.
Wallace stated, “It was devastating and heartbreaking. We shouldn’t have spun out. We knew the track would be loose. I guess there is a first time for everything.”
CUP crew chief Joe Garone elaborates, “Michigan was another blown opportunity to have a great qualifying run (maybe our best to date). The car was very good in practice, but we had it a little tight going into qualifying. This proved to be a good thing because the cars going out to qualify before us were extremely loose. One of the advantages of qualifying late is we have the ability to adjust the car with air pressure before we run. I tightened the car on pit road with air pressure before Kenny ran his lap. According to my split times thru turns one and two, Kenny was on a top five run. On the corner entry to turn three, the car wiggled and came around on him.”
Ultimately, the #78 car wasn’t tightened enough for the loose conditions. However, Wallace showed his skills by not crashing the car.
Furniture Row® Racing’s Busch team failed to qualify at Michigan as well. The team’s qualifying run with driver Jerry Robertson didn’t make the cut to get into the show. The Busch team’s next scheduled race is Fontana, CA on Labor Day weekend.
Next on the schedule is Bristol for the CUP team this weekend. For Wallace, patience will be critical at this famed short track. Bristol Motor Speedway is a .533-mile short track where the intensity level can register off the chart in this 500-lap race. In the corners, the track features 36-degree banking, while the straight-aways are banked 16 degrees. Both the frontstretch and the backstretch measure 650 feet in length.
There are several key factors to consider when developing a game plan for a Bristol night race that Garone and Wallace must acknowledge. Bristol lends itself to a lot of rubbing and bumping. It’s imperative that Wallace does his best to stay out of trouble, keep the car intact, and races to the end. However, staying out of trouble isn’t easy at Bristol. It can be expected that Wallace will be maneuvering the #78 Chevy Monte Carlo in door-to-door conditions.
This can cause emotions to flare. Contact and on-track trouble can trigger tempers.
If Wallace controls emotions and reactions, he stands a better chance at finishing and excelling on Saturday night.
Furniture Row® Companies is one of the largest family-owned specialty home furnishings and bedding retailers. The company is comprised of five specialty store brands including: Sofa Mart®, Oak Express®, Bedroom Expressions®, Denver Mattress Co®, and Big Sur Water Beds®