Ask just about any area race fan and they would tell you they are very familiar with NASCAR veteran Kenny Wallace.
It’s doubtful, however, that any of those fans ever expected to see Wallace, in person, in Albion, NE.
Thanks to a promotion at the Albion Speedway Friday, fans, drivers and track personnel did, indeed, enjoy a live appearance by the longtime driver and television personality.
Wallace ran a series of hot laps in cars provided by Albion drivers Tyler Iverson and Mark Lueken, then gave a broadcast interview in front of the grandstand and posed for photos with volunteer firemen and track personnel prior to Friday’s race card. A good-sized crowd turned out for the event despite chilly, windy weather conditions and watched Wallace compete against Albion Speedway regulars in IMCA Modified and Limited Late Model heat and feature races.
Despite driving back-up cars with which he wasn’t familiar, the NASCAR driver worked with local crews to finish 6th in the Modified A Feature in the #36 provided by Iverson and 8th in the Late Model Feature with a Lueken ride (#2).
Wallace, 49, predominantly runs a dirt track schedule across the country now, but is scheduled to compete in a handful of NASCAR Nationwide events for RAB Racing (#29 Toyota), including this weekend in Iowa. He is also a popular on-air personality for the SPEED Channel on NASCAR Raceday and NASCAR Victory Lane.
Wallace comes from a racing family. His father Russ was a successful driver on Midwestern dirt track circuits and older brothers Rusty and Mike preceded him in NASCAR competition. Rusty was the 1989 NASCAR Winston Cup champion.
Kenny carved out his own successful career at the top levels of the sport. He was the American Speed Association (ASA) Rookie of the Year in 1988 and followed with NASCAR Busch Series Rookie of the Year honors in 1989, driving a car owned by brother Rusty.
Kenny made his Winston Cup debut in 1990 and joined the Cup Series full time in 1993. During his NASCAR career, Wallace has scored nine victories in the Busch and Nationwide Series, along with 66 Top 5’s and 173 Top 10’s. He has six Top 5’s and 27 Top 10’s as a Winston Cup and Sprint Cup driver.