No. 29 American Ethanol Toyota Camry
Post Race Report
RAB Racing and the No. 29 American Ethanol Toyota Camry with driver Kenny Wallace showed Friday night in the Food City 250 they never give up in adverse situations. Wallace, making his 897th career NASCAR start, was penalized by NASCAR for changing lanes before crossing the start/finish line on a restart half way through the event. Wallace and the No. 29 team never gave up after going multiple laps down and fought back for a top 20 finish.
With a one day only event it was important to utilize every moment of practice to find a setup that would work around “the world’s fastest half mile.” Wallace and crew chief Keith Hinkein were fast right off the trailer, setting the 2nd fastest time in the early stages of the team’s only practice session. After finding speed the team utilized the rest of the practice time to work on long runs, and by the end of the session Wallace was extremely happy about the drivability of his American Ethanol Toyota Camry. A brief rain shower before qualifying washed all the rubber from practice off the track, creating a completely different track condition than what the team had in practice. Wallace complained of a tight condition in qualifying, and set the 19th fastest time.
Starting in the 19th position would prove difficult to overcome in the early stages as Wallace and team chased the handling of the race car and the new track conditions at night for the Food City 250. Two cautions and two pit stops into the race, Wallace and team found the balance they were looking for and marched back into the top-20 only to be struck with the pass through penalty from changing lanes on a restart. The mishap sent the No. 29 from 20th position to 28th, three laps down to the leader, but Wallace and the team never gave up. Through hard racing, Wallace made his way back up to 24th with forty laps to go in the event during a long green flag run, which is what the team worked on in practice. Then in the last forty laps of the event, Wallace took his American Ethanol Camry from 24th to finish in the 19th position.
Kenny Wallace: “What a day! I can’t thank my RAB Racing crew enough for working so hard throughout the day and never giving up. My crew chief Keith Hinkein gave me the best handling Nationwide Series car I’ve had all season, and we were putting ourselves in position to get a good finish. I just barely changed my lane on that restart and with NASCAR that is a big no no and we were penalized for it, almost losing two laps to come in for a pass through penalty. The penalty was brutal for our chances at a good run but my team and pit crew never gave up, and in those closing laps we gave it everything it had to claw back to 19th position. I can’t thank my friends at American Ethanol enough for coming aboard for their first primary race of 2013, I really enjoyed my good looking white and green car and can’t wait to have them back on board in the future. Well we took about the tenth fastest race car in the field and finished 19th with it, so its definitely a little disappointing but atleast we know the speed is there and with any luck, we’ll get the finish we deserve. I will be back in the American Ethanol Camry very soon, so stay tuned for my 898th NASCAR start!”