Wallace Amped to Return to Roots During All American 400 WeekendScott Menlen
For Kenny Wallace, racing a CRA Street Stock at Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway during the All American 400 will be more than just another race. It will also be a trip down memory lane.
When Wallace was climbing the ranks as an aspiring stock car racer, competing in events such as the All American 400 was how you built a resume and established yourself as a premier racing prospect.
“The Nashville Fairgrounds is legendary,” said Wallace on Speed51’s The Bullring. “In my day, my first time racing there was 1986. I had been there a lot with my brother, Rusty Wallace, Paul Andrews. Paul Andrews went on to be Alan Kulwicki’s champion crew chief and Rusty went on to become the NASCAR champion.”
There were basically three races. Years ago, it was the Dri-Power 400 at Winchester … the Winchester 400, man and machine. The All American 400, Nashville, Tennessee, man and machine. Of course, the Snowball Derby, 300 laps, man and machine. Whatever you were doing through the summer, the talk was always those three races, and they were all in succession like they are now.
Next weekend will mark the first time Wallace has raced at the Fairgrounds since competing with the Busch Series in the 1990s. He’ll also be joined in the CRA Street Stocks by another familiar face, Ken Schrader.
Don’t expect a lot of trash talk between the two NASCAR veterans, however, as Wallace holds Schrader in the highest regard as both a competitor and friend.
“I treat my brother Rusty Wallace and Kenny Schrader the same. Rusty’s 64, Kenny’s 66. They’re the greatest. People ask how I get along with them. That’s simple … always let them stand an inch taller than you. Schrader’s my hero. He’s helped me so much in my career.
“He’s already driven in this series. But, listen, I’ve been running a lot of asphalt. I’ve been running those wedge Outlaw Super Late Models. I ran at Berlin earlier this year. We’ve run a handful of asphalt races and won up at Kinross.”
Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway is enjoying a resurgence in popularity and notoriety, including increased interest in the All American 400 as well as a capacity crowd attending the Camping World SRX Series finale at the track. Wallace believes a key figure in that is promoter Bob Sargent.
“Now, with this great promoter we have there, Bob Sargent, Bob has invigorated and made Nashville Fairgrounds exciting. Back then, we had Rex Robbins with ASA, Bob Harmon with All-Pro. It was the All American 400, billed as North against South.
Bob Sargent, NASCAR likes him, Jim France has his eye on Bob. Bob is taking care of the Nashville Fairgrounds. He promoted the ARCA race at the Iowa track this year. Bob Sargent promotes Flat Track racing. They’re looking at Bob, and I think he’s going to be a major player. He’s fairly young, no one jacks with him, he’s an authoritative figure. They need Bob and people like Bob to build tracks back up.
Race fans can watch Wallace in action by securing tickets now for All American 400 weekend at https://nashvillefairgroundsspeedway.racing. Fans unable to attend the event in-person will be able to watch live on Speed51.TV.
-Story by: Zach Evans, Speed51 Director of Digital Content – Twitter: @ztevans
-Photo credit: Speed51 Photo