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Sep 16, 2013 - 06:31 AM
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Kenny Wallace Finishes 17th In Historic 900th NASCAR Start
Posted by: newsla on Sep 16, 2013 - 06:29 AM
Kenny Wallace Finishes 17th In Historic 900th NASCAR Start

RAB Racing and the No. 29 ToyotaCare, American Ethanol Camry with Kenny Wallace came into Chicagoland Speedway to set a new milestone in auto racing, Wallace's 900th NASCAR start. Wallace joined an elite group of drivers including Richard Petty, Ricky Rudd, Terry Labonte, Mark Martin, Darrell Waltrip, Bobby Labonte, Jeff Burton, Dale Earnhardt, and Dale Jarrett with over 900 NASCAR starts. The No. 29 team showed they had the speed to contend with the 11th fastest time in practice, along with qualifying in the 11th position.


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As the green flag flew on the scheduled 200 laps, Wallace maintained his position solidly in the top 15. A loose condition made things difficult early as grip coming off the corners were at a premium and Wallace slipped back to the 18th position by lap 60. After the first pit stop crew chief Keith Hinkein made an adjustment to the car, and the pit crew picked up spots in the pits. Wallace made it back up to the 15th position and said he really liked the car, running comparable lap times to those in the top 10. During a long green flag run, Wallace went one lap down and came up short on fuel mileage, running out of gas, and falling two laps down in the 24th position. Wallace and the team never gave up and set their sights on getting back on the lead lap. Hinkein rolled the dice on pit strategy and Wallace drove hard to put himself into position for the "lucky dog" award, but with only 14 laps to go simply ran out of time to come through the field. Wallace, in his 900th NASCAR start, was able to make his way back up to the 17th position.

Kenny Wallace: "We ended up with a solid day and finished 17th. The car was good, but there was a couple of sets of tires where it got real loose, but my crew never gave up on me, and even after running out of fuel we were determined to get back on the lead lap. I had a good time, I had a really good time. It was a fun race for me, a lot of battling and just driving as hard as you can possibly drive. I was just driving for everything I had and its amazing how much this series has changed through the years. It's a tough series now, one through 20 are great cars with great drivers in them and its much more difficult to make up time when something goes wrong than in the past. I gotta thank everybody from Toyota and American Ethanol, and all the farmers in Illinois that made this possible. This is all I've ever done for a living my whole life, coming out of St. Louis, to think that I would have made a good living driving race cars is pretty amazing. It's basically just a dream come true, and never in my wildest dreams would I have thought I'd be racing in my 900th NASCAR race. Thank you to all my fans who support me, and turned out for all the autograph sessions this weekend, this whole week will truly stick in my mind for a long time."

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