Track Talk: Finally a Hall of Fame salute for Rusty Wallace
There’s a classic photo of Rusty Wallace in his rough-cut, pre-NASCAR days, kneeling next to a first generation Chevy Camaro racecar at one of countless weekly short tracks in the Midwest, where he raced and won countless Friday and Saturday night feature events. The image shows a slender young man sporting a mane of curly red hair in a '70s "frizzy" style, a crooked smile on his baby face and eyes full of fire and determination.
Who would’ve guessed that, some 35 years later, the same young man — his familiar face lined, yet still youthful — would be standing on a stage in Charlotte, N.C., accepting a formal induction into NASCAR’s prestigious Hall of Fame. It had been a long, often bumpy road for the Missouri native. Thousands of miles spent travelling from one racetrack to another, in little towns and big cities. Tens of thousands of laps on oval tracks and road courses from coast to coast. Triumph and tragedy. A story of grit, guts and — finally — glory.
In the early days, it was dusty little dirt tracks and paved bullrings around Missouri and border states. Daytona, Darlington, Bristol and Talladega were only in the dreams he had as he slept in the truck while one of his part-time crew of friends drove, towing that Camaro to yet another short track. They say that the cream always rises to the top, and talent plus guts and determination will prevail. So it was that the carrot-topped kid from Rolla, Mo., got on a hot streak, and set the Midwestern short-track world on fire.
If you have any technical difficulties, either with your username and password or with the payment options, please contact us by e-mail at email@example.com