Kenny Wallace Kicks Off Testing For Oct. 31 Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500
Tuesday, September 28, 2004
Over the next four weeks, the high banks of Atlanta Motor Speedway will be increasingly crowded as teams rush to test at the fastest track in NASCAR. Kenny Wallace led off the testing spree with his No. 00 Aaron¿s Chevrolet on Tuesday at AMS as he prepared his car for the Oct. 31 Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500, the seventh of 10 races in the Chase for the NEXTEL Cup.
The Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500 at Atlanta is one of a handful of races that Wallace will drive for Michael Waltrip Racing in the team's fledgling NEXTEL Cup effort. His other attempts have been at Bristol and Indianapolis ¿ two tracks vastly different from each other and from Atlanta ¿ which is part of the reason testing at Atlanta is so important for Wallace.
¿Well, obviously, the pressure is on here because we have to make the race on time ¿ we don¿t have provisionals,¿ Wallace said. ¿And to be honest, Atlanta is my worst track. I have been OK here, but I have also been very, very bad here. So we¿re very happy to be here to test.¿
With that weighing on his mind, Wallace spent the first half of Tuesday¿s test session working on race set-ups, then quickly turned to qualifying trim for the rest of the day. His fastest lap of the day was 30.35 seconds (183.143 mph), or roughly in the neighborhood that most teams reach during testing at Atlanta. They will all pick up the pace considerably, though, before Oct. 29 Georgia-Pacific Qualifying Night, when the pole speed is likely to reach 194 mph ¿ or faster.
¿The car feels good ¿ very solid,¿ Wallace reported to his crew after his first run of the day. ¿We¿ve got some work to do, but I like the way it feels.¿
NASCAR testing will continue over the next three weeks as drivers prepare for the Oct. 29-31 Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500. All test sessions are closed to the public, but check the Atlanta Motor Speedway website at www.atlantamotorspeedway.com for more information or daily testing updates.