BUSCH: Richmond II: Kenny Wallace - NASCAR spotlight

Kenny the dominant Wallace at Richmond when it comes to the NASCAR Busch Series. DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Sept. 4, 2002) - Success at Richmond International Raceway has evolved into a family tradition for the Wallaces. While Rusty Wallace has ...

Kenny the dominant Wallace at Richmond when it comes to the NASCAR Busch Series.

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Sept. 4, 2002) - Success at Richmond International Raceway has evolved into a family tradition for the Wallaces.

While Rusty Wallace has enjoyed well-chronicled success throughout his NASCAR Winston Cup Series career at the .75-mile oval, Kenny has followed his older brother's blueprint for the venue on the NASCAR Busch Series level.

Kenny (No. 48 Stacker 2/Goulds Pumps Chevrolet) has earned three of his nine career NASCAR Busch Series victories at RIR, site of Friday night's Funai 250, and ranks among the track's NASCAR Busch Series career leaders in wins, top-five and top-10 finishes and laps led.

Wallace had a three-year run where he grabbed his victories - sandwiching late-summer wins in 1994 and' 96 around a spring triumph in' 95 - to place him behind only Mark Martin (5) and Harry Gant (4). He also ranks second to Martin on the RIR career list for NASCAR Busch Series career top-10 performances (15) and top-five finishes (9). His 511 laps led rank third, trailing Martin (1,196) and Jeff Burton (590).

"Richmond is a great race track for race car drivers because even though it is a short track the way the banking is and the way the track is laid out it allows people to race side by side. Plus the track has lights and it is so cool to race at night," Wallace said."Of all the race tracks we race on, Richmond is one of my favorite race tracks. It's an all-time great."

Wallace will get an opportunity to enjoy Richmond twice as much as usual. Bill Davis Racing announced last week that Wallace, along with his current sponsor Stacker 2, will be in the No. 23 NASCAR Winston Cup entry on a full-time basis, beginning next season. However, Bill Davis Racing did not wait until 2003 for Wallace. The team also announced last week that he would replace former BDR driver Hut Stricklin in the NASCAR Winston Cup entry - the No. 23 Hills Bros. Dodge - for the remainder of this season.

He ran both the NASCAR Winston Cup and NASCAR Busch Series events last week at Darlington, finishing 25th and 11th, respectively.

"I've always been the type of race car driver that likes to drive both series," Wallace said."It seems I run better when I do both. The key to that is having two really good teams. Some drivers don't like to do it (both series) too much, but it works for me."

While Wallace preps for his NASCAR Winston Cup ride next season, he still has some business to tend to in the NASCAR Busch Series. Buoyed by 10 top-10 finishes, he currently is seventh in the NASCAR Busch Series championship race for owner George deBidart.

And Wallace, despite the move to NASCAR Winston Cup, is not quick to forget his roots in the NASCAR Busch Series, where he has competed in 268 races dating to 1988.

"The Busch Series is vital to our sport, like the heartbeat. [To] understand my point, you look at [drivers like] Kevin Harvick and Dale Earnhardt Jr.," said Wallace, referring to two drivers who became champions in the NASCAR Busch Series and earned rides in NASCAR Winston Cup as a result of that success."If you went off how Dale Earnhardt Jr. ran late-model stocks, he never would have been in Winston Cup. Jimmie Johnson won one race in three years and you would of never known of Jimmie Johnson without the Busch Series. The Busch Series is the heartbeat of the Winston Cup Series."

-nascar-

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About this article
Series NASCAR XFINITY
Drivers Dale Earnhardt Jr. , Jeff Burton , Rusty Wallace , Kenny Wallace , Hut Stricklin , Jimmie Johnson , Harry Gant , Mark Martin
Teams Bill Davis Racing