PONTOON BEACH — NASCAR fans got a rare opportunity to sit in the driver’s seat at Tri-City Speedway over the weekend as NASCAR driver turned commentator Kenny Wallace debuted the Kenny Wallace Dirt Driving Experience.
Wallace calls Tri-City Speedway his home track and remembers his humble beginnings selling programs as a young man.
“I used to run all over this track selling programs as a kid,” Wallace said Saturday. “Giving this experience to fans means a lot to me. That’s why I made so much effort to be here this weekend. I have to leave for Pocono to be live on Fox Sports later today. That’s how much it means to me. After racing NASCAR on the asphalt, it’s fun to be in control, but yet out of control on dirt.”
Wallace refers to the difference of racing on dirt versus racing on concrete asphalt is that dirt racing allows for “do-overs.”
“On dirt you can run five out of six nights,” Wallace said. “It’s a lot of fun and you can do it all week, all over the country. If you have a bad night at one track, you can be in victory lane the next night after piecing your car back together.”
Kenny’s brother Rusty has offered the Rusty Wallace Driving Experience for the past several years to give fans the feeling of how an Xfinity driver feels taking laps around tracks like Gateway Motorsports Park in Madison. Kenny wanted to remind fans that the drivers who make it to the big show didn’t start there; most of them started on the dirt.
“Drivers like me and my brothers, Mike and Rusty and guys like A.J. Foyt, Tony Stewart, Kasey Kane, Jeff Gordon, Carl Edwards and Clint Bowyer, we all started on dirt,” Wallace said. “The list goes on. I want fans who may never have the opportunity to drive a dirt car, but wish they had a chance to get the feel of it. There is nothing like it. Not to mention, it gives them an inside view of what their favorite drivers go through.”
Wallace spent a few hours with fans signing autographs, talking with local drivers and giving a ride-along to those who didn’t want to drive themselves, but still wanted a chance to feel the car get loose in the corners.
For those who missed the opportunity to participate in the Kenny Wallace Dirt driving experience, the next stop is in Kansas City, Mo. on the 3/8 mile track at Lakeside Speedway. Dirt racing with Kenny is a great opportunity for individuals and corporate events. Visit www.dirtracewithkenny.com for more information and future dates.