Kenny Wallace and the #23 Stacker 2 Bill Davis Racing operation haven't enjoyed the success they would have liked so far in 2003 although optimism is high as they prepare for this weekend's EA Sports 500 at the Talladega Superspeedway.

Wallace has finished inside the top 20 in all three restrictor plate races run so far this season and will be using the same Dodge Intrepid in this weekend's 188-lap race around the fearsome 2.66-mile oval.

"I don't know why, but for some reason this car doesn't qualify well, but it sure does race good," said Wallace. "We were running in the top 10 at Talladega in the spring when the white flag came out and then ran out of gas. That was a real disappointment, but at least we know we ran good."

Wallace and Co. are also looking forward to continuing the Station #23 program as the team continues to pay tribute to the fire-fighters of Station #23 in New York who lost their lives during the September 11th terrorist attacks.

The Station #23 program was developed to pay tribute to the fallen firefighters of Station 23 FDNY (Midtown Manhattan), who were performing their jobs of saving lives when tragedy struck on September 11, 2001. The name of their station is "The Lion's Den." Through the common grief following September 11th, a special bond was created between Station 23 FDNY and Station 23, Grand Terrace (San Bernardino County FD) in Grand Terrace, California. The two have become "sister stations" and Station 23, Grand Terrace, has since adopted the name "The Lion's Den" in honor of the fallen firefighters. "The Lion's Den" decal being placed on the #23 Stacker 2 Busch and Cup cars feature both "sister stations" and will be included on the team cars throughout the month of September.

Wallace and the #23 Bill Davis Racing squad will have to be aware of several rule changes in place this weekend, notably the continuation of the complete elimination of racing back to the caution flag, a reduction in the size of the restrictor plate itself and an increase in rear spoiler height. As NASCAR continues to tweak its restrictor plate rules in its attempts to come up with a safe, exciting and competitive package, Wallace just hopes that one day the style of racing seen at Daytona and Talladega will change.

"I'm not sure what everyone wants to accomplish with these rule changes," said Wallace. "Every time we go there they have another change, but I never see the racing changing on the track. We still run three and four wide and we still race in big packs. I don't know, we'll see how these affect the racing. All I can say is I wish they would go back to where the rules were in 2000 when you really could pass. I can remember running almost last and me and Earnhardt hooked up and passed 40 cars. He finished first and I finished right behind him. That was the best racing we had there."

One change Wallace approves of is the racing back to yellow situation, even though he took some convincing to start with.

"I think it's a good thing," said Wallace. "The first person running behind the leader that isn't on the lead lap gets their lap back and I think that's really good. I can tell you this, it is a lot easier to just slowdown now then to worry about where the leader is and whether we can race fast enough to get by them and get a lap back. You don't have to worry about racing back to the line anymore. At first I thought it was a bummer, but after the race last week in Dover I think it is a good thing."

 

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