Kenny Wallace

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Kenny Wallace
Kenny Wallace June 2014.jpg
Wallace signing autographs in 2014
Born (1963-08-23) August 23, 1963 (age 55)
St. Louis, Missouri, U.S.
Achievements 2005 Prelude to the Dream Winner
Awards 1989 NASCAR Busch Series Rookie of the Year
1991, 1994, 2006 NASCAR Busch Series Most Popular Driver
NASCAR Cup Series career
344 races run over 18 years
2008 position 61st
Best finish 22nd (1999)
First race 1990 First Union 400 (North Wilkesboro)
Last race 2008 AMP Energy 500 (Talladega)
Wins Top tens Poles
0 27 3
NASCAR Xfinity Series career
547 races run over 26 years
Car no., team No. 26 (JGL Racing)
No. 29 (RAB Racing)
No. 20 (Joe Gibbs Racing)
2015 position 51st
Best finish 2nd (1991)
First race 1988 Advance Auto 150 (Martinsville)
Last race 2015 U.S. Cellular 250 (Iowa)
First win 1991 Spring 200 (Volusia County)
Last win 2001 Sam's Club 200 (Rockingham)
Wins Top tens Poles
9 173 10
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series career
13 races run over 5 years
2013 position 99th
Best finish 34th (1996)
First race 1995 Goody's 150 (Martinsville)
Last race 2013 225 (Joliet)
Wins Top tens Poles
0 4 0
NASCAR Pinty's Series career
1 race run over 1 year
Best finish 62nd (2003)
First race 2003 Canada Day Shootout (Cayuga)
Wins Top tens Poles
0 0 0
Statistics current as of August 1, 2015.

Kenneth "Kenny" Wallace (born August 23, 1963) is an American professional stock car racing driver. He retired from NASCAR after a 2015 Xfinity Series race at Iowa, where he competed in the No. 20 Toyota Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing in a one race deal. In a career spanning twenty-five years in NASCAR, Wallace had nine wins, all occurring in the Xfinity Series. Now retired from NASCAR competition, he continues to race on local dirt tracks across the country as a hobby.

Early life

Wallace is the youngest of three brothers born to Russ and Judy Wallace. Russ was a prolific race winner himself, which made him unpopular with fans. Wallace earned his nickname, "Herman," early in life when Lake Hill Speedway promoter Bob Miller made note of Wallace's boisterous behavior when taking up for his father, likening him to the mischievous cartoon character Herman the German.[1] He went to Fox High School in Arnold, MO.

Wallace began his racing career by working as a mechanic on his father's race cars and brother's team. He entered his first race, the Illinois Street Stock State Championship, in 1982, winning the event. This victory sparked Wallace's driving career, and he entered the American Speed Association in 1986, achieving Rookie of the Year honors in the series.[2]

Early Busch career

In September 1988, Dale Earnhardt gave Wallace the seat for his first-ever NASCAR start, in which he finished eleventh in the Busch Series race at Martinsville Speedway, driving the #8 GM Goodwrench Chevrolet.[3] The following year, he raced the full Busch Series schedule in a car owned by brother Rusty Wallace,[4] sponsored by Cox Treated Lumber earning the 1989 Rookie of the Year award and finishing sixth in driver point standings.[5] In 1990, he made his Winston Cup debut at North Wilkesboro Speedway in the #36 Pontiac for Randy Cox, finishing 26th after a late-race crash.[5] He finished seventh in the Busch Series.[5] The following season, he won his first two career races and finished a career-best second in the Busch points, and subbed for Kyle Petty in two races in the Cup series.[5] At the Pyroil 500, he competed against his brothers Mike and Rusty, marking the first time since Bob, Fonty, and Tim Flock raced that three brothers competed in the same race. In 1992, Dirt Devil became his sponsor and he won his third Busch race of his career, but several mechanical problems forced him down to sixth in points.[5]


In 1993, Wallace moved up to the Winston Cup Series full-time, driving the #40 Dirt Devil Pontiac Grand Prix for SABCO Racing.[5] The team got a considerable amount of television time as the team was featured on the TV show What Would You Do?. He had three top-tens and a twenty-third place points finish,[5] but lost his ride at the end of the season. He returned to the Busch Series to drive the #8 TIC Financial Systems Ford for FILMAR Racing. He picked up three wins and finished fourth in points.[5] Towards the end of the season, he was hired by Robert Yates Racing to replace the injured Ernie Irvan in the Cup series.[6] In twelve races, he finished in the top-ten three times.[5] In 1995, Wallace and FILMAR split time between the Cup and Busch Series. Wallace had one win with the Red Dog Ford in the Busch Series, and made eleven starts in the Cup Series in the #81 car.[5]

Wallace and FILMAR began racing in Cup full-time 1996 with funding from Square D. They had two top-ten finishes and a twenty-eighth place points finish.[5] The following season, he won two poles, at Bristol and Martinsville respectively,[7] but fell five spots in the standings. Despite seven top-tens in 1998, Wallace and Square D left FILMAR to drive Andy Petree Racing's new #55 entry.[5] Wallace finished in the top-ten five times and had a career-best twenty-second place finish in points.[5] After only one top-ten in 2000 and a 26th place finish in the points, he departed the team.[5] The sole top-ten came in his second place finish to Dale Earnhardt, in the then Winston 500 (now Camping World RV Sales 500) which was Earnhardt's final victory. Wallace pushed Earnhardt to the front in four laps to the lead.


Wallace and his wife Kim in 2001
Wallace's 2001 Cup car, subbing for Steve Park

In 2001, Wallace signed with the unsponsored Eel River Racing team, and also was hired to drive the #48 Goulds Pumps Chevy in the Busch Series full-time for Innovative Motorsports. After several DNQ's, Wallace resigned from the team to concentrate on his Busch ride. He won his first race in seven years at North Carolina Speedway and finished 10th in points. He also filled in for Steve Park in the Cup Series,[8] winning one pole and nailing down two Top 10's, including a second-place finish at Rockingham Speedway, tying a career best.[5] He did not win in 2002, but moved up to seventh in the Busch series standings in the #48 Chevrolet now sponsored by Stacker 2.[5] He replaced Kevin Harvick in Richard Childress Racing's #29 car at Martinsville after the latter was suspended for deliberately crashing another driver in the Truck Series race the day before. He was hired late in the season by Bill Davis Racing to replace Hut Stricklin in the #23 Hills Brothers Coffee-sponsored Dodge, and was hired to drive the car full-time in 2003, bringing his Stacker 2 sponsorship with him and continuing to drive in the Busch Series for Davis.[5] After one Top 10 finish, Wallace and the team moved down to the Busch Series in 2004, garnering 10 Top 10 finishes.[5] He also drove in the Cup Series five times for Michael Waltrip Racing.[5]

In 2005, Davis Racing closed its Busch team, allowing Wallace and sponsor Stacker 2 to join ppc Racing's #22 Ford, earning five Top 5's and 11 Top 10's.[5] During that season Wallace's team lost sponsorship when Stacker 2 backed out of NASCAR, and drove for the rest of his time with ppc Racing driving the #22 AutoZone Ford. He began driving for Furniture Row Racing in the Cup Series that season, and ran seventeen races with them in 2006.[5] After four Top 10's in 2006, Furniture Row began racing full-time in Cup, so Wallace left ppc.[5]

Despite getting voted into the All-Star Race at Charlotte, Wallace was unable to keep the #78 in the top-35 in owner's points, and left the team in August.[5] On August 22, 2007 he filled in for Kyle Petty in the #45 Wells Fargo-sponsored Dodge at Bristol.[5] Shortly after that drove as a sub for an injured Ricky Rudd in the #88 Snickers-sponsored Ford Fusion until Rudd returned.

Wallace attempted to qualify for the 2008 Daytona 500 in a second car for Furniture Row Racing—the #87 Denver Mattress-sponsored Chevrolet. This car was entered as a safety net for the team's primary driver Joe Nemechek in the 78, should his car not make the race. Nemechek locked the 78 in on pole day, giving Wallace the opportunity to race. Wallace finished eighth in the first Duel at Daytona,[9] making the 50th Daytona 500. Wallace was black flagged in the 500 for failure to maintain the NASCAR-required speed, allowing him to finished dead-last.[10] Wallace drove for Armando Fitz early in the 2008 NASCAR Nationwide Series season before switching to the #28 for Jay Robinson.[5] Between the 2008, 2009, and 2010 seasons, Wallace finished in the Top 10 three times.[5] He left Jay Robinson and joined RAB Racing, driving without a paycheck in exchange for getting to drive competitive equipment. Wallace recorded 11 Top 10 finishes in 2011, with a best finish of fifth at Richmond.[5] In October, he announced that he would return to the team in 2012. However, Wallace only ran the first 5 races before sponsorship issues forced him to move to a partial schedule. In addition to driving both RAB's Nos. 09 and 99, Wallace also drove at Indianapolis with Benny Gordon's SR2 Motorsports team.

In January 2012, RAB Racing announced that Wallace would be attempting to qualify for the 2012 Daytona 500, driving the American Ethanol-sponsored No. 09 Toyota Camry.[11] The team suffered fuel pump issues in the Gatorade Duel and failed to qualify for the race.[12]

In July 2012, Wallace was guaranteed a ride for one race in the #22 Penske Racing Nationwide car,[13] but Sam Hornish, Jr. was given the ride.

In 2013, Wallace ran the inaugural Mudsummer Classic at Eldora Speedway, and after winning the fourth heat race,[14] he finished 17th after starting 4th in the feature.[15] He also ran at Chicagoland Speedway in the Truck Series, as well as running a limited schedule in the Nationwide Series for RAB Racing; at the Chicagoland Nationwide race, he made his 900th start in NASCAR's top three divisions.[16] In late September, he qualified Brian Vickers' Sprint Cup Series car at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, due to a scheduling conflict; Vickers drove in the race.[17]

In early 2015, Wallace competed in the Chili Bowl Midget Nationals for Loyet Motorsports. Also in 2015, Kenny's brother, Mike Wallace, had open heart surgery. Kenny was announced as his replacement in the No. 26 Xfinity Series Toyota for JGL Racing. He joined RAB Racing for the Iowa race in June with the sponsorship U.S. Cellular. He also announced that he would run his final NASCAR race at Iowa with Joe Gibbs Racing in August. Though his NASCAR driving career came to an end, he continues to race on dirt tracks in his modified.

Personal life

Wallace is a member of a large racing family. Wallace's father, Russ, was a prolific winner on Midwestern short tracks in the 1960s and 1970s.[18] Kenny and his older brothers, Rusty Wallace and Mike Wallace, followed in their father's footsteps. Rusty is the 1989 NASCAR Winston Cup Series champion and winner of 55 Cup Series races. Mike is a winner of four Nationwide Series and four Camping World Truck Series races. Rusty's son, Steve Wallace, is a current Nationwide Series driver, and Mike's daughter, Chrissy Wallace, has participated in multiple Nationwide Series and Camping World Truck Series races.

Wallace is married to Kim and has three daughters, Brooke, Brandy, and Brittany. Wallace and his family reside in Concord, North Carolina.[19]


Motorsports career results


(key) (Bold – Pole position awarded by qualifying time. Italics – Pole position earned by points standings or practice time. * – Most laps led.)

Sprint Cup Series

Xfinity Series

Camping World Truck Series

* Season still in progress
1 Ineligible for series points


  1. Horsepower Hour to Feature Colorful Racer & Broadcaster Kenny Wallace
  2. Kenny Wallace
  3. Kimm, Bill (2008-06-19). "Numbers: Milwaukee – K. Wallace to make 400th career Nationwide Series start". NASCAR. Retrieved 2010-04-18.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. "Driver Profile: Kenny Wallace". NASCAR. Retrieved 2010-04-18.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. 5.00 5.01 5.02 5.03 5.04 5.05 5.06 5.07 5.08 5.09 5.10 5.11 5.12 5.13 5.14 5.15 5.16 5.17 5.18 5.19 5.20 5.21 5.22 5.23 5.24 5.25 5.26 "Wallace NASCAR drivers statistics". Racing Reference. Retrieved 23 November 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. Nowell, Paul (1994-08-25). "Irvan improving; Yates picks Kenny Wallace". The Dispatch. Associated Press. Retrieved 2010-04-18.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. Harris, Mike (1997-08-23). "Little brother gains pole". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Associated Press. Retrieved 2010-04-18.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. Fryer, Jenna (2001-11-01). "Wallace brothers find themselves in top rides". Spartanburg Herald-Journal. Associated Press. Retrieved 2010-04-18.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. Jenkins, Chris (2008-02-14). "Kenny Wallace races his way into Daytona 500 field for underdog Furniture Row Racing". USA Today. Associated Press. Retrieved 2010-04-18.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. "Kenny Wallace Nationwide NASCAR Series Driver". Retrieved 2009-06-01.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. "RAB Racing Attempts Daytona 500 Debut With Kenny Wallace". Fox Sports. January 21, 2012. Retrieved 2012-01-22.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. "Daytona notebook: Earnhardt makes Junior Nation smile". Montgomery Advertiser. Montgomery, Alabama. February 23, 2012. Retrieved 2012-02-25.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  13. Douglass, Bryant (July 27, 2012). "Kenny Wallace Gets a Chance with Penske Racing". Beyond the Flag. Retrieved 2013-07-24.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  14. "2013 Mudsummer Classic Heat Race #4". Racing-Reference. Retrieved 2013-08-09.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  15. "2013 Inaugural Mudsummer Classic Results". ESPN. Retrieved 2013-07-25.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  16. Pennell, Jay (September 14, 2013). "Wallace set for milestone start". Fox Sports. Retrieved 2013-09-20.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  17. Pearce, Al (September 20, 2013). "Kenny Wallace to practice and qualify No. 55 Toyota for New Hampshire Sprint Cup race". Autoweek. Retrieved 2013-09-20.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  18. Russ Wallace: Rusty, Mike & Kenny
  19. Kenny Wallace Fast Facts

External links

Preceded by
NASCAR Nationwide Series Rookie of the Year
Succeeded by
Joe Nemechek
Preceded by
Prelude to the Dream Winner
Succeeded by
Tony Stewart