CHARLOTTE, N.C.---Mike Wallace and Ken Schrader Racing are returning home. Wallace will make his first start in a NASCAR Craftsman Truck at Gateway International Raceway on September 19, 1998, and is excited about the idea of racing on his home...
CHARLOTTE, N.C.---Mike Wallace and Ken Schrader Racing are returning home. Wallace will make his first start in a NASCAR Craftsman Truck at Gateway International Raceway on September 19, 1998, and is excited about the idea of racing on his home turf.
"St. Louis has typically been a stick and ball sport area, but racing is carving out a place for itself," said Wallace, driver of the No. 52 red, white and blue Purolator PureONE Ken Schrader Racing truck. "Gateway is in a perfect location. Between my family and Schrader this area has produced quite a few race car drivers and racing fans."
Wallace and Schrader grew up racing at tracks around the St. Louis area. Their fathers raced against each other at Lake Hill Speedway. Then years later Schrader, Mike and his brothers, Rusty and Kenny, raced against each other. Wallace also won championships at Tri-City Speedway in Granite City, Ill., and St. Charles Speedway in St. Charles, Mo., which are still in operation today.
"Back when Mike was racing here, he was the guy to beat," said Bob Wente, owner of Tri-City Speedway. "He was the typical Saturday night racer. He won a couple of track championships in a row here at Tri-City and then moved up to asphalt racing to prepare for where he is today."
Wallace went from racing on dirt every Saturday night at Tri-City to racing in the Winston Racing Series at Lebanon I-44 Speedway in Lebanon, Mo. Wallace won the Mid-American Region Championship in the Winston Racing Series in 1990, when he won 21 of the circuit's 29 races.
Eventually, Wallace brought his racing career back home to St. Louis. Although Wallace has never raced a truck at Gateway International Raceway, he competed in the ARCA event held at the one mile oval in 1997.
"We have never raced the trucks there, so it is going to be a challenging race," said Wallace. "I am looking forward to going back home for the race. Having professional racing in St. Louis is great because there are plenty of race fans from the different tracks around the area."
While in St. Louis, Wallace will attend the St. Louis Cardinals baseball game on Wednesday night, September 16. Wallace and Schrader will throw out the first pitch for the game and mingle with the players.
"I think that is great," said Wallace. "I am such a big fan of the Cardinals and it's great to see baseball and racing intertwine. St. Louis has always been a big baseball town and Schrader and I would like to get the baseball fans interested in going to the race on Saturday."
Wallace will also visit some of his old hangouts and favorite places on the trip home. This will include the house that the Wallaces grew up in, as well as where they went to high school. He will also make an appearance at Tri-City Speedway.