For over 30 years, racing legend Rusty Wallace has delighted racing fans not only with his hard-nosed and aggressive approach to racing, but also with a personality and charisma that are unmatched in the sport.
When all is said and done, Wallace, a former NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion and 55-time race winner, will go into history as one of America’s greatest racing drivers. At the time of his retirement in 2005, Wallace ranked as one of the top- five money winners in NASCAR history, with nearly $50 million in career earnings. His 55 career victories marked the eighth- best all-time career total and his nearly 20,000 laps led ranked him seventh all-time. For sixteen straight seasons, Wallace won at least one race in NASCAR’s Sprint Cup Series, marking the third longest such streak in history.
His success is not limited just to NASCAR, however. He is also a former champion of the International Race of Champions (IROC). In 1991, Wallace bested many of the world’s greatest drivers for the series title, becoming the only driver in history to win three of the series’ four events in a single season.
Wallace’s accomplishments both on and off the track have been widely recognized. He is a member of the NASCAR Hall of Fame, the International Motorsports Hall of Fame and the National Motorsports Press Association (NMPA) Hall of Fame, making him one of only 20 individuals to have completed the “triple crown” of America’s auto racing halls of fame. Additionally, he was the 2005 recipient of the NMPA Myers Brothers Award for outstanding lifetime contributions to the sport of stock car racing and is a two-time NMPA Driver of the Year.
In his final year on the NASCAR circuit, Rusty Wallace left fans with a huge appreciation for his vast contributions to the growth and popularity of NASCAR racing. Bestowed upon Wallace were Delaware’s Order of the First State and North Carolina’s Order of the Long Leaf Pine—the highest civilian honors in those states. Additionally, nine racing facilities permanently honored Wallace and more than a dozen state, city, and county seats of government declared race day as officially recognized “Rusty Wallace Days.”
Wallace’s current undertakings allow him to continue putting his immense knowledge and charismatic personality to work. In 2006, he was named Lead Auto Racing Analyst for ABC/ESPN and led the networks’ broadcast of the Indianapolis 500, prior to their return to NASCAR. He currently headlines NASCAR Countdown, the networks’ popular pre-race show. Thanks to his first-hand experience with the sport’s inner workings, Wallace is widely acknowledged as one of the world’s foremost authorities on NASCAR racing.
In addition to his racing analysis, Wallace remains an active competitor, as owner of Rusty Wallace Racing, which has fielded entries in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and NASCAR Nationwide Series.
Wallace is also active in various other business pursuits. In 2005, he became the first driver in recent history to design a professional racing facility, when he inked the plans for the 7/8-mile Iowa Speedway. The facility currently hosts rounds of the NASCAR Nationwide Series, the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and the IRL Indycar Series. Wallace is also a sought-after public speaker and the principal stakeholder in The Rusty Wallace Automotive Group, a collection of seven automotive dealerships located throughout eastern Tennessee.
In addition to his business interests, Wallace is a board member for The NASCAR Foundation—one of racing’s foremost charity initiatives. As a part of that role, he oversees the foundation’s development committee, raising funds for the foundation’s mission of helping children live, learn and play.
While he remains as intense as ever, Rusty Wallace also enjoys relaxing on the golf course and piloting his Learjet 31A. An avid pilot with over 15,000 flight hours, Wallace has three children and resides near Charlotte, NC with his wife, Patti.