It may be early in the 2011 season, but one Nationwide driver, NASCAR personality and broadcaster, Kenny Wallace, is already a changed man.
[media-credit name=”theautochannel.com” align=”alignright” width=”300″][/media-credit]Now that Wallace has found a home at RAB Racing, he has changed his racing performance from running in the back in previous years to having two consecutive top ten finishes, as well as sitting eighth in the point standings.
“I’m a changed person,” Wallace said. “I came across a quote this winter and it really inspired me. The quote is ‘Your life won’t change until you change your life.’
“The point is this,” Wallace continued. “I found myself in some tough circumstances over the last three years and I kept blaming it on not getting a sponsor. And so I just took a leap of faith and quit the team I was with and after I ran so good in my brother Rusty’s Toyota last year, it inspired me.”
“So, we worked really hard and at the same time, Robby Benton and RAB Racing called me up and we put a deal together,” Wallace said. “It feels really good to work hard and have some results.”
Wallace is also looking forward to a change in attitude, as well as results, as he heads into the Scotts EZ Speed 300 at Bristol Motor Speedway this weekend. He will be behind the wheel of the RAB Racing No. 09 UNOH Toyota Camry.
“I know what I’ve got to do there,” Wallace said. “I know the feeling I need in the car. So, I’m still focused on laying down some good finishes.”
“And at the end of the race, if I’m in position to win, then we’re going to try to win,” Wallace continued. “But right now, I’m going to Bristol to race the race track.”
Wallace has had success at the “World’s Fastest Half Mile”. Out of his 33 Nationwide Series starts at Bristol, Wallace has a win, a pole, eight top-5 finishes and 18 top-10 finishes to his credit.
While Wallace is looking forward to changing it up at Bristol, he recently announced another big change. The infamous ‘fan car’ is returning to the Wallace stable and will be raced at the Charlotte Motor Speedway on October 14th.
“The fan car came out of the blue there in 2009,” Wallace said. “When we announced that we didn’t have a sponsor in Montreal, it was the fans’ idea that they sponsor the car.”
“The fans loved it,” Wallace continued. “It was their car.”
“Things went really well and they’ve been wanting me to do another one,” Wallace said. “I on purpose didn’t do it last year because I didn’t want to wear it out. So, we’re going to do it again this year.”
Fans can go to www.kennywallace.com and for $20, get their name on the car, a post card sent to them at home, and an invitation to Wallace’s shop on Wednesday, October 12th for a meet-and-greet prior to the race weekend. Wallace’s sponsor will supply the refreshments and the event will afford all fans the opportunity to see their car in advance of it being on the race track.
The whole fan car development has also changed the way that Wallace interacts and relates to his fans. He is now one of the strongest believers in the power of the social media, from Facebook to Twitter.
“I have my own unique conversations with the fans, especially on Twitter,” Wallace said. “It’s a lot of fun.”
“What’s funny about social networking is that it’s been around for awhile but it has really gotten big,” Wallace continued. “It’s no longer child’s play.”
“People conduct conversation and everybody is realizing that Twitter is here to stay,” Wallace said. “It’s a form of communication that is fun for people to know more and get the truth out.”
While much has changed in the world of the ‘Herminator’ as he is known to many of his fans, there are several constants that Wallace never wants to change. One of those is his love of his family and the other is his passion for dirt track racing.
Wallace literally lights up when he talks about his wife Kim and their three grown daughters, Brooke, Brandy and Brittany. Daughter Brooke is a dental hygienist, Brandy is a cosmetologist, and Brittany is a student at Johnson and Wales for fashion merchandising.
“I had a good childhood growing up and I was a ‘mama’s boy’ so I always said that if I ever had any kids, I’m going to give them a lot of love just like my mom gave me,” Wallace said. “My mom say’s I’m an ‘old soul’ so I want to make sure my kids are tough, that they know they’ve got support and love, but they also know Mom and Dad’s got their back.”
Wallace’s other constant is his passion for dirt track racing. When he’s not behind the wheel of his Nationwide car or behind the microphone for SPEED, he is most likely happily racing on a dirt track somewhere throughout the country.
“I love driving race cars,” Wallace said. “The reason I drive the dirt cars is because I got one employee, my dirt car sponsor and there’s no stress there.”
“I simply just want to win,” Wallace said. “If I don’t do good in the car, it’s on me. It’s my chance to do what I want to do the way I want to do it just with me involved.”
No matter what changes in Wallace’s life, he wants fans to know one thing about him.
“I thinks fans are suprised because I’m so real,” Wallace said. “I’m just like them. There’s no prima donna for me.”
“My wife irons my clothes, I vacuum, I pay my own bills,” Wallace said. “I don’t like to act big time. I want to sit down with everybody and have a good time.”
And in spite of the other changes recently in his career, that is one thing that will never change in the life of Kenny Wallace.