(Written by: Chase Prather)

On August 23, 1963 in St Louis Missouri a soon to be racing icon was born. The youngest of 3 brothers Kenny Wallace known for his outgoing spirited attitude and personality, the soon to be nicknamed “Herman” was always full throttle ahead. Wallace started working as a mechanic for his father and brothers race cars. Kenny got into the racing game himself at a very late age by todays standards, at the age of 22 he entered into his first ever race at the Illinois Street Stock State Championship and won that race. Two years later was back as a mechanic for Benfield Racing until eventually being upgraded to crew chief. In 1986 the young racer entered in the ASA (American Speed Association). Wallace ran well in his rookie campaign earning himself the 1986 Rookie of the year, what he didn’t know was what was coming next. Things seemed to be working in two’s for Wallace as in September 1988 at Martinsville he got a chance to run in the then NASCAR Busch Series (now Xfinity series) from the late “Intimidator” Dale Earnhardt. Now in 1989 he ran the full time Bush Series schedule in a car owned by his brother Rusty Wallace and picking up Rookie of the Year honors. In 1991 he started picking off wins earning his first two at Volusia County and New Hampshire while also finishing second in the points.

Keeping on with the two year trend in ’93 moved into the Cup Series driving the #40 Pontiac. After a very up and down roller coaster of a year his ride was lost at the end of the year. While bouncing back and forth between the busch and cup series Wallace drove for Roush Yates to replace an injured Ernie Irvan. Kenny’s most well known moment he says was pushing Dale Earnhardt to his 76th and final win before his death the next season. In his many years in nascar his stats were more then impressive. While never scoring a win in the cup series he claimed 27 top tens with 3 poles, 9 wins in the Busch series with 173 top tens and even 4 top tens in the Truck Series. While running nascar it never stopped Wallace from returning to his stomping grounds of the dirt track. Wallace while is no stranger to the dirt running anything from his family owned #36 UMP Modified to a win at the Gateway Dirt Nationals in his home town, to late models winning the 2005 Prelude to the Dream at Eldora Speedway, in 2015 the now “Hermanator” ran the Chili Bowl Midget Nationals, and even sprintcars. After living in north carolina during his nascar days, Kenny and his wife kim moved back south of St Louis, Missouri in 2016. A father of 3 daughters, 2 granddaughters and a grandson, Wallace still runs his own #36 modified on the dirt all across the country frequently on his own schedule while also running a few asphalt races here and there as of late. Kenny has appeared on countless TV programs, calling races, and probaly his most exciting program Speed Channel’s Nascar Raceday. The Kenny Wallace Dirt Racing Experience has really jumped in popularity across the US. The school offers fans the chance to jump into actual racecars such as Sprintcars, Late Models, and 3 different kinds of Modifies on tracks from the west coast to the east coast and anywhere in between.

(Karsyn Elledge photo)

Wallace is still a huge inspiration to the younger generation of drivers. He is often spotted at the Clash at the Coliseum in St Louis giving advice to the kids at the track. From personal experience the 57 year old still has the fire to win races and the happy personality he is so known for. If you want an autograph or a picture taken Kenny will never let you down. During his downtime he defiantly has his hobbies but the race track is his bread and butter. Kenny often posts on his facebook page, entertaining videos of him self either giving his opinion on things, fooling around in his shop, or just plain being himself and if you aren’t watching it, your defiantly missing out. Wallace has 13 dirt races scheduled in 2021 with 4 asphalt races. What a lot of people will tell you ask about Kenny is that he’s a family man with a heart of gold. Wallace and his #36 was recently invited to the Bristol Dirt Nationals but instead of racing Wallace gave his invite to an up and coming racer Kyle Steffens.

So what’s next for Kenny Wallace? He’s driven just about anything you can think of and have probably won it too. I guess you’ll have to stick around to find out. Until next time

“We’ll see you, on the DIRT” – 357’s World of Dirt

theDirt

FREE
VIEW