NASCAR Race Weekend Central

Kenny Wallace Driver Diary: Getting Dirty Feeds the Soul!

Early in my career, back in the late 1970s, I would come down to Daytona with my family for about five or six days. It wasn’t until later in my career that I’ve come down a full seven or eight days before everyone gets here. We got here on January 31st. This year I took my dirt car all over central Florida. It is so much fun – I really enjoy my dirt car.

I’m enjoying Speedweeks more than ever this year. Ever since I’ve been a kid, I don’t think I took in Speedweeks like I should have. I absolutely love and cherish these last five years. I’ve been racing the dirt car out at Volusia Speedway in Barberville, Fla. Then the NASCAR Nationwide car comes in and I’m able to get on the Daytona speedway. It has just made me love Daytona Speedweeks so much. I wish everybody in racing could come down early and just be here for two weeks and experience it – it is so much fun. I know everybody can’t because everybody has jobs, but I’m having the time of my life. The first week in January, I look forward to coming. I’m already looking forward to next year.

My dirt team is made up of about four people. I have two employees. One of them is Billy Smith – his nickname is “Billy the Kid.” Billy is a great racecar driver who runs in Farmington, Mo. every Saturday night. The other employee is my brother-in-law, Jason Poole. Jason is Kim’s brother. He’s a great fabricator. Jason worked in NASCAR and really got bitter about NASCAR and wanted to move back to St. Louis. My team also has my car builder, Donnie Jumper. Between those three and myself, we look forward to Speedweeks, and then we can’t wait to race during the middle of the summer.

In the summer, we race Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. We stay at all the Super 8s and Country Inn Suites all over Iowa and the Midwest. We race about 40 races. We’ll be at a track near you. My schedule for 2010 is done. I have to clear it with some people, and then we’ll post it on We’ll start off March 12th and 13th at Kaney, Kan. We’ll run the Prelude to the Dream at Eldora on June 9th. We’ll go through Fort Dodge, Iowa. We’ll race in Spoonerville, Ill. In July, we’ll be in Winnipeg, Canada. We’ll end the year usually at Lakeside in Kansas City. I’m not the type of person who goes home and sits around. The dirt car feeds my soul. I love racing. I love being around it and driving the racecar.

What’s great is that it’s almost like a mini-vacation here at Daytona this year. I finished 11th in Nationwide points, and we were 19th in car owner points, so we’re locked in to the 300. There are 57 cars here – 57 cars! – trying to make the race. It’s crazy. I see all the scrambling around me, but I feel so good about my race on Saturday. We’ll just race the race accordingly. We’ll log laps early, and then around the last 20 laps, you’ll see me get up there. We want to do better than we did last year. I think we finished 16th or 17th, and we want to do better than that this year.

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