Race Weekend Central

Kenny Wallace Driver Diary: Repaving, Regrouping, and Looking Ahead

Kansas went really well. We practiced in second spot, but we were tied with Paul Menard, so they listed us third. We backed it up by qualifying fourth. It’s a pretty special car, you know? People will ask, “well, how come you qualify twelfth to fifteenth then all of a sudden, you qualify so good?” My best qualifying run of the year was third at Phoenix. When I’m in the car, we usually qualify in the top 11, let’s say; I’ve got a couple of eleventh-place qualifying runs. So it was a really solid qualifying effort.

In the race, we faded back to eighth or ninth. It was a race of track position. One time, you would come down pit road, next time it would be just gas and go. The strong point of the race was that we ran top 8 all day. At the very end, we were off on our fuel mileage and ran out coming to the green with four to go. It was disappointing to not get a good finish, but I’m not in a points race, so it was not a big blow to me. I felt bad for the guys because I’d like to move the car up in car owner points. It’s important to keep this car in the top 20 in car owner points because there’s money at year end for top 20.

Kenny Wallace had a great run going in the 99 at Kansas but came up just a little short on fuel.

I think the track was awesome. They did an excellent job. We go through that every time they repave a track. Hopefully we won’t see another repaved track for quite a while; it really puts a monkey wrench into everything you do. I’m glad all this repaving is over. Pocono is repaved. Michigan is repaved. Kansas is repaved. They even repaved Phoenix. It creates a lot of problems, so you know, they went through the last year or two just repaving every damn thing, but I don’t think there’s anyplace else that needs it, so it looks like we might go through the next ten years without any repave jobs.

We ran the dirt car at Lakeside, Kansas. We ran a series that didn’t favor us with our motor and their rules, but we went up and won our heat race and finished ninth in the A-main. Now our year is over. We ran hard this year. At the year end, we ran a total of 48 races and won 11. We won the Summer Nationals championship, and it was my breakout year on dirt. I look at my dirt career and I’ve had some enormous success. I won the Prelude to the Dream in 2005. I’m proud of that. They announced that they aren’t going to hold the Prelude to the Dream next year. It’s a feather in my cap. We’ve won some pretty big races to put us in this position.

So this year, I’m proud of winning the championship. I’m proud that we had the most wins at the Winter Nationals in Florida with four. Now we’re going to regroup and build a new car. We’re going to do the same thing next year. We’ll get ready to go to the Winter Nationals, and we’ll go to Ocala, Florida the first week in February. Then we’ll go to East Bay the second week in February, and then we’ll go to Volusia.

But now, it’s time to celebrate the holidays, and go on our cruise, and get my daughter Brooke ready to be married. We’re doing a lot of work there. She’s going to get married January 11, 2014. Of course we have family in Charlotte and family in St. Louis. We already had one engagement party in Charlotte, and now we’re going to have one in St. Louis. There will be a hundred people here. Everybody wants to meet each other. I don’t know a whole lot of Jacob’s friends. We’re going to have that this Friday night and then Saturday, I’ll get on a plane and mosey on back to North Carolina and get ready to be on TV on Sunday morning.

Also, I’d like to clear that up, since SPEED and Fox put their press releases together. I’d like to clarify what’s going on. A lot of people have heard a lot of rumors, obviously. Here’s the deal: we’re good to go next year with NASCAR Race Day and NASCAR Victory Lane. I’m excited about it. I think there was a lot of confusion about what was going to happen. Fox owns SPEED, and they just did a new deal with NASCAR for eight years. Since they just did an eight-year deal, that means that we’ll be looking good. I’ll let them announce the rest of the story, but I want to put people at ease that our shows aren’t going anywhere.

I’m going to run the Nationwide car at Texas. Phoenix is up in the air, but I’m going to run at Miami to end the year. That puts me in a total of 14 races this year. I’m inching closer to my 900th NASCAR start. It looks like I’ll end the year at around 891 starts, so next year, we’ll need eight or nine starts next year to get to 900 total NASCAR starts. A lot of people want to know what I’m doing next year. I’ll be doing TV for the eighth straight year. What will I be racing, and how many races? Hell, I don’t know that yet. I’ve got some potential sponsors out there. My goal is to run as many races as I can, let’s put it that way.

I really don’t care about the World Series since the Cardinals lost in their playoff series. If I had to choose who I like between San Francisco and Detroit, I have a lot of friends from Detroit. We’ve got a friend named Dave Powers, a lot of people inside the SPEED TV compound—Fran, our stage manager, Karen, our logistics coordinator—pulling for the Tigers, so I’ll favor Detroit just because I’ve got more friends close to me with Detroit. I’m not against San Francisco, either, but I’d like to see Detroit win because I’ve got a lot of friends who want them to win.

Some people were giving me a hard time on Twitter about the Cardinals. Look, when you’ve got a lot of followers like I have, you have three or four bad eggs. I’ve learned along the way the art of tweeting. What I did was I retweeted those people—there were only four—but when you retweet it, that’s the way you get those people back. 99.9% of the people are cool and are there for me. So those four people who are lewd, I retweet them and then I let my friends rough them up—teach them a lesson!

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