Former NASCAR Driver Kenny Wallace to race at Mitchell Raceway for Fairbanks first
FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - A cheerful Kenny Wallace signed autographs, took pictures and exchanged stories with members of the Fairbanks community Friday at a meet-and-greet at Gene’s Chrysler car dealership Friday afternoon.
It is not every day a former NASCAR driver interacts with Fairbanksans - and what is certainly not every day (as it has never happened) is for a former NASCAR driver to race at The Mitchell Raceway, a local dirt track.
“I have always dreamed of coming to Alaska,” Kenny Wallace said in front of the modified vehicle he will be racing. “Monte Pearson [President of the Greater Fairbanks Racing Association] got a hold of me, and I said, ‘are you kidding me? This is great timing, I will be right there!’. I am excited to race at Mitchell Raceway.”
The Alaska Dirt Shootout is always a spectacle, but it is now ‘must see’ as the 25-year NASCAR veteran is set for two days of racing, Friday and Saturday, with the first green flag scheduled to drop at 7 p.m at the Mitchell Raceway.
Since retiring from NASCAR in 2015, Wallace has been racing at local dirt tracks around the country and The Mitchell Raceway, known as ‘the northern most dirt track in the world’, is unlike any other he has or will experience.
“They’re filling me full of knowledge, I have learned that there is racecars around here, I never would have thought there would be racecars all the way up here!” Wallace said with a laugh. ““I am just learning so much, here is not much dirt up here, I had to learn about silt. I learned about permafrost and I’m like, ‘what’s that?’ It is when the road freezes and the road gets bumpy.”
From competing at the highest level of motorsports, to becoming a broadcaster for Fox Sports NASCAR, to tearing up dirt tracks around the United States, getting the to race in the Last Frontier is towards the top of his experiences.
“This is definitely top two. I think my first racing opportunity is one that I will never forget, racing in Japan. Now, Fairbanks, Alaska is number two. Never in my life did I think I would race on dirt in Fairbanks, Alaska, this is pretty cool.”
Wallace and the top drivers from around the state will be circling the Mitchell Raceway June 25-26, featuring modified, sprint car, late model, sportsman, dollar stock and mini stock classes. More information can be found on the Greater Fairbanks Racing Association website or Facebook page.
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