Talladega's X Factor
October 3, 2006
Denver, CO- Furniture Row Racing's Cup program heads to Talladega Superspeedway this weekend after an impressive run last weekend at Kansas. The Cup program qualified at 43rd, and driver Kenny Wallace was able to fight his way up the field to finish at 31st.
Crew chief Joe Garone elaborates on the race. "Kansas was a good race for us. We brought a new set up and the most horsepower we have had all year. It took all of the first practice to figure out the car, and we narrowly made the race. However once we were in race practice, we made very good gains in understanding the new configuration and had the car handling about the best it’s been all year. During the race, we never were able to overcome the lost track position starting 43rd, but were a honest top thirty car."
The Busch program also ran at Kansas. Driver Jerry Robertson qualified at a solid 35th. However during the race, a mistake from David Reutimann caused the #78 to end up sideways and tap the outside wall.
This ended the Busch effort for the day. The next Busch series race will be in Charlotte.
Switching gears back to the Cup program, the focus is now on Talladega.
The Cup team will have driver Kenny Wallace piloting the #78 Chevy Monte Carlo.
Wallace and the crew will have their hands full this weekend.
Talladega is one of the most competitive tracks on the current NASCAR NEXTEL Cup circuit. Not only is the Alabama track the holder of the fastest qualifying lap in NASCAR history (Bill Elliott 212.809 mph - April 1987) but the fastest race in NASCAR history also took place at Talladega (Mark Martin - 188.354 mph - May 1997).
Wallace will face the unpredictability factor that the track poses, which is a great challenge for drivers. Talladega also received its first repaving job in 26 years earlier this year.
This increases the unpredictability quotient for the track.
Here are some helpful hints to help contain Talladega's X-Factor for the #78 Cup team.
• Thanks to its unpredictability, Talladega rewards speed rather than consistency.
• Competing inches apart leaves little room for error. Mistakes can ruin a good finish.
• Planning one’s moves on the track, rather than reacting to what happens, is key at Talladega. Drivers who stick with a driving strategy usually fare well.
• The better one drafts in traffic, the further one advances through the field.
The #78 will be competing for valuable owners points this weekend.
Understandably, the #78 Cup program isn't involved in the Chase for the Cup in its rookie season, however things are heating up in the Chase for the top 10 teams. After three races, the top-five drivers are separated by only 96 points, making this the closest battle for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series since the Chase format was instituted in 2004.
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®