Some people think Kenny Wallace is a clown, others think he’s the clown prince of NASCAR. Wallace is a fantastic pitch man for NASCAR racing. He is on TV quite a bit because he is wide open and has a great time no matter what he’s doing. However, if you ever listen to his radio during a race, he is all business when the green flag flies. And while he’s never captured a checkered flag in the Cup Series, he’s garnered a few of them in the Nationwide Series and is second on the list of all-time starts in the series.
With all of that history Wallace has built up quite a fan following over the years and, when he’s called on them, they’ve responded in the past. Heading into the road race in Canada at the end of August, Wallace was facing the possibility of not racing, but his fans stepped up and saved the weekend for him.
Wallace is sponsored by the United States Border Patrol. They have been a great sponsor for him all year, but they have a stipulation in their deal that they don’t sponsor the car for races outside the United States. After much searching and hard work, Wallace’s team had not been able to secure sponsorship for the race. Faced with the prospect of not being able to race in Montreal on Aug. 30, Wallace put out the word to his fans and they showed up as strong as they ever have.[irp posts=”22247″ name=”Beyond the Cockpit: Kenny Wallace on the Fan Car, Big Changes and Using Your Imagination”
Utilizing the social networking site Facebook, Wallace was able to rally the support of 5,000 fans who pledged $20 each to put their name on his car for the Montreal road-course race. This has turned out to be one of the most successful fan sponsorship cars ever and it is a testament to Wallace, who has an infectious laugh and a dee- seated love for racing and NASCAR racing in particular.
For those of you who aren’t as familiar with Kenny’s career as his legion of fans, here are a few things that might be of worth to note. Wallace has booked nine victories in the Nationwide Series during his career. That is more than either of his brothers, Mike and Rusty, who have combined for four victories in the series, and just for clarification, all four of those victories were logged by Mike, while Rusty was never able to take the checkered flag first in a Nationwide race.
Kenny also has the same number of second-place finishes as Dale Earnhardt Jr. Both of them came home as the first loser 12 times in their career. Wallace is 20th all-time in the series in top-five finishes with 64, one behind Dale Earnhardt and seven behind Kyle Busch, who has not started nearly as many races.
While fans can no longer get their name on Kenny’s car for Montreal, they should still watch and share in the experience for the fans who were able to donate and have their name placed on the car. It should be a very fun experience for fans who know they helped put his car on the track.
About the author
What is it that Mike Neff doesn’t do? The writer, radio contributor and racetrack announcer coordinates the site’s local short track coverage, hitting up Saturday Night Specials across the country while tracking the sport’s future racing stars. The writer for our signature Cup post-race column, Thinkin’ Out Loud (Mondays) also sits down with Cup crew chiefs to talk shop every Friday with Tech Talk. Mike announces several shows each year for the Good Guys Rod and Custom Association. He also pops up everywhere from PRN Pit Reporters and the Press Box with Alan Smothers to SIRIUS XM Radio. He has announced at tracks all over the Southeast, starting at Millbridge Speedway. He's also announced at East Lincoln Speedway, Concord Speedway, Tri-County Speedway, Caraway Speedway, and Charlotte Motor Speedway.
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