Lebanon I-44 Speedway Driver making history for women



Lebanon I-44 Speedway Driver making history for women

Related Issue: Women Racers Directory, Women in Racing, Women Racers, More Women in Racing, Race Schedules, Notable Women
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Rusty Wallace has made clear one of his NASCAR “retirement projects”.Little known fact is another branch of the Wallace family tree. Mike Wallace, NASCAR NEXTEL Cup and Busch Series driver, has a seventeen year old daughter that is tearing up the tracks around North Carolina.

Seventeen-year-old Chrissy Wallace pulls into the garage area and yells to her crew, “I think something broke on the trailing arm.”

She climbs from a Thunder Roadster car and examines a broken bolt. She tells a crew member, “I felt the bolt break on the trailing arm with two laps to go. I could finish last or keep racing.”

Wallace kept on racing on this summer night, showing the determination to finish that comes naturally to members of her family.

The daughter of Nextel Cup driver Mike Wallace, and niece of two other Cup drivers – Kenny Wallace and former Cup champion Rusty Wallace – Chrissy Wallace is in her third year of racing and doesn’t hide her desire to someday drive in NASCAR’s top series.

Tuesday nights in the summer bring the youngest Wallace driver – with her piercing blue eyes, long blonde hair, and broad, brace-filled smile – to Lowe’s Motor Speedway outside Charlotte to race in two series.

The RACEceiver Legends series features miniature 1930s-style stock cars with Yamaha 1250cc motorcycle engines. They reach speeds of up to 75 mph on the speedway complex’s quarter-mile oval.

Thunder Roadsters are open wheel-style cars with the same engine, but with a longer wheel base and softer tires. They can reach speeds of up to 90 mph.

When Chrissy Wallace first started racing Legends cars, she said, she wasn’t welcomed by the men and boys she competed against.

“Not too many guys are happy (women) are around here – especially winning” she said as she stood by her car, covered in stickers earned for winning feature races. “But we’re finding more acceptance.”

In addition to driving, Chrissy Wallace plays basketball and softball, a sport in which she fielded college scholarship offers. But, she said, “I realized last year that racing was my true dream.”

Her dad has never pushed her toward racing.

“I don’t care what she decides to do – doctor, lawyer, driver, whatever,” Mike Wallace said. “Just as long as she’s happy.”

Later this year, she plans to move into a late model stock car, racing at tracks in Hickory and Concord. When she turns 18 in May, she intends to seek sponsorship for a ride in NASCAR’s Craftsman Truck Series.

“I’d like to race with her,” Mike Wallace said. “A father-daughter race would be pretty cool.”

If she’s successful there, that could lead to the Busch Series and perhaps eventually to the top-level Nextel Cup.

Wallace said she loves softball, but “my heart is set on NASCAR and to be the first successful female driver (in the series).”

Lebanon I-44 Speedway Driver making history for women

Danica Patrick announced on Thursday that she was leaving the IndyCar racing circuit in 2012 to devote her driving skills to NASCAR, where she’ll race in the Nationwide series full-time and up to 10 events in the highest-level Sprint Cup series. And while Danica may be the best known female racer in the country, there’s a young woman with ties to the Ozarks whose also making some history for her gender.

Lebanon I-44 Speedway is the home of the first female in history to lead the national championship standings for late models in the American Speed Association. And her last name may be a little familiar. 23 year-old Chrissy Wallace is a member of the legendary St. Louis Wallace racing family including her father Mike and her uncles, Rusty and Kenny.

Chrissy currently lives in Concord, North Carolina in the area where most of NASCAR’s team operations are located. She could have chosen any ASA track in the nation to compete for a national title, but every week she makes the trek halfway across the country to Lebanon because of I-44's connections to her family and other racing legends.

“My dad won the championship here in 1990,” Chrissy explained, “So I wanted to come back here and compete at a track that means a lot to our family.”

“This track has a reputation and history of producing great drivers,” adds Craig Armstrong, the I-44 track promoter. “Larry Phillips (a five time champion), Carl Edwards, Jamie McMurray. And having Chrissy Wallace do what she has done here this summer is truly phenomenal.”

Chrissy has won 6 races at Lebanon, but as you can tell from the numerous rubbin’ marks on the paint scheme on the sides of her car, it hasn’t all been easy. Recently Wallace got into a bumping exchange with another car whose driver was competing for the championship at Lebanon, and after a series of contacts, Chrissy spun the driver-out from behind, leading to a heated exchange in the pit area after the race.

“I had to brake-check-up real hard and got into the back of him and spun him out,” Chrissy recalled. “And afterwards we got into a pretty big argument and there were a lot of people coming down to my hauler. But I can stand up for myself. I’m not gonna let people run all over me just because this is a male-dominated sport.”

And while another female driver, Danica Patrick, has already made in-roads on the NASCAR circuit, Chrissy, who’s driven in two Nationwide races and seven NASCAR truck series events, hopes to be joining Patrick soon.

“It’s helping me in that she’s showing that females can do it,” Chrissy says with a smile. “And hopefully I can then get out there and prove that I can out-run her.” (Editor's note to Chrissy - you really believe you can out-run her? If that was true, you would have gone further in your career by now.)

Chrissy Wallace, the other female driver making her Nationwide debut, spins out

The other female driver in the Nationwide Series season opener at Daytona has wrecked on her first lap of the race.

Chrissy Wallace spun coming out of turn four, slid across the track and hit the inside wall at Daytona International Speedway.

She blamed Paul Menard for the accident, saying it was a "dumb mistake on his part."

She was one of four Wallaces in NASCAR's second-tier event. Her father, Mike Wallace, uncle Kenny Wallace and cousin Steve Wallace also started the Nationwide race.

Nonetheless, her series debut was largely overshadowed by Danica Patrick. The IndyCar star made her NASCAR debut in Saturday's race.

Wallaces Mike, Chrissy to race against one another

Will make history at 'Dega as first father-daughter duo

For the first time in NASCAR's history, a father-daughter duo will race in a national series event.

Chrissy and Mike WallaceMike Wallace and his 21-year-old daughter, Chrissy Wallace, are slated to compete in the Camping World Truck Series race at Talladega Superspeedway on Oct. 31.

Mike Wallace will pilot the No. 48 Chevrolet for Andy Hillenburg. He has 113 series starts with four wins and finished fifth last season in the race at Talladega.

Chrissy will be behind the wheel of an entry for Rick Ware Racing. She is without a guaranteed starting position in the field and must earn a spot in qualifying. The younger Wallace made her series debut at Martinsville in 2008. She finished ninth in the ARCA Re/Max Series race at Talladega last year.

Though this will mark the first time for a father-daughter duo, father-son combinations have appeared across NASCAR's national racing series all throughout its 61-year history. Lee and Richard Petty; Richard and Kyle Petty; Bobby and Davey Allison; Buck and Buddy Baker; Dale Earnhardt and Dale Earnhardt Jr. are just a few.

In the Truck Series, Mike and Dustin Skinner, the late Bobby Hamilton and Bobby Hamilton Jr., and Ron Hornaday and Ronnie Hornaday have raced each other.

Wallace & McReynolds Among Hardee's Summer Shootout Winners

Jess Mattox used his front bumper to move leader Chrissy Wallace out of the way coming out of the final turn, but it was not quite enough as the two crossed the stripe in a dead heat Tuesday during the Cabarrus Family Medicine Legends Car Semi-Pro division feature on opening night of the 12th annual Hardee's Summer Shootout at Lowe's Motor Speedway.

Track officials reviewed digital video of the finish several times before declaring Mattox of Waycross, Ga., and Wallace, daughter of NASCAR veteran Mike Wallace and a Concord, N.C., resident, co-winners of the race that was shortened to 14 laps due to time constraints.

Racin' for a Livin'

Chrissy Wallace has been selected as one of fifty race car driver's (including 10 other women) for an upcoming racing reality TV show - Racin' for a Livin'. The competition starts with fans voting online to select the top 12 drivers. Only these 12 drivers, selected solely by fan voting, progress to the TV show. Then they compete in race cars, on different courses, judged by top drivers, crew chiefs and broadcasters. The winner receives a fully-funded and sponsored ride for a limited number of races in the NASCAR Busch Series. Please go to and show your support! Vote and Vote Often - you can vote as often as you like! Chrissy

Chrissy Wallace was gridded 35th in Saturday's Nationwide Race at Dayton but spun out before completeing the first lap and ended up 43rd.

Chrissty Wallace, the other female driver making her Nation\wide debut at Daytona, spins out. She still takes home $45,585.

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Nationwide vet Mike Wallace will watch from the spotter's stand when daughter Chrissy Wallace makes her CTS debut in Martinsville. Like Dad, 19-year-old Chrissy drives for Germain Racing. Yet Mike insists she earned the seat on merit: "She didn't bring any money to the deal and I didn't have any influence." Chrissy, the first female to win at Hickory Speedway (2007), has raced for eight years in legends and late models. ESPN Magazine

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