Kenny Wallace announced today that the August 1 U.S. Cellular 250 at Iowa Speedway will mark the final start of his 26-year NASCAR career.
After a series-record 547 career starts – three of them this season – Wallace will head to Iowa with one of his best chances ever to capture the checkered flag. The driver affectionately known as “Herman” will be at the helm of the always-competitive No. 20 U.S. Cellular Toyota, fielded by Joe Gibbs Racing. The No. 20 team currently sits fourth overall in the Xfinity Series Owner Standings and won the pole position for the season's first race at Iowa Speedway.
"To me, this isn't a sad moment,” insisted Wallace. “I'm at a truly happy place in my life right now. After all, not too many guys get to have the privilege of being a NASCAR driver, especially for as long as I have. I really wanted to end my long career on a positive note and I'm very excited about our chances in Iowa. The No. 20 team is one of the best in the sport and I'm looking forward to having a chance to end my NASCAR career with a great finish. I really want to thank U.S. Cellular for helping me make that happen."
Once the checkered flag flies on Aug. 1, the former Xfinity Series Rookie of the Year and three-time Most Popular Driver will leave a legacy of longevity and perseverance that is nearly unparalleled in the sport. He will leave the sport with an all-time record 547 career Xfinity Series starts and 904 combined NASCAR national series starts; good for 14th all-time.
After making his NASCAR debut in Dale Earnhardt's No. 8 Xfinity Series ride at Martinsville in 1988, Wallace went on to finish among the Top-10 in points in 10 of his 14 full seasons, including a runner-up finish in 1991. His nine series wins and 10 poles rank him among the Top-40 of all-time in both categories, while his 173 Top-10 finishes mark the seventh-best career total.
Wallace enjoyed a fruitful career in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series as well, where he had 344 career starts and three poles. While he never reached Victory Lane in the Cup ranks, Wallace played a vital role in several of its most memorable finishes, including pushing the late Dale Earnhardt to his final NASCAR victory at Talladega in 2000.
In recent years, Wallace has been able to capitalize on his charismatic personality and racing experience to become a top NASCAR analyst for FOX Sports. In that role, he currently appears on Fox Sports 1's NASCAR RaceDay and NASCAR Victory Lane shows.
"Growing up as a kid and watching my Dad race in Rolla, MO, I never dreamed that I'd have the chance to do what I've done in my life,” said Wallace. “I've had a long and successful career and I've been able to support my family doing what I love. To me, it doesn't get any better than that. I'm really proud of everything that I've been able to accomplish in NASCAR.
"I've been fortunate enough to be able to turn my NASCAR driving career into another career doing something else I love; working with FOX Sports on television. Those guys have been great to me and I get a lot of happiness from being able to educate the fans about the sport that I love. I'm going to stay involved in the sport through TV and I'm going to stay behind the wheel in my dirt cars too.
"You know, everyone experiences change at some point and I'm honestly looking forward to opening the next chapter in my life. As always, I promise that I'm going to have a lot of fun doing it."
Many fans know that Kenny Wallace is an avid user of the social networking platform Twitter, and enjoys engaging with fans through his username, @kenny_wallace. Starting today, fans are encouraged to tweet their favorite Kenny Wallace memories using the hashtag #thankskenny. The authors of Kenny's Top-26 favorite tweets -- representative of his 26 years in NASCAR -- will be rewarded with an autographed hat from the Iowa race weekend.