Wallace to bring fan excitement and momentum to Milwaukee Mile in July
March 28, 2013 (West Allis, Wis.) - Joining a growing list of all-star drivers competing in the Swiss Colony Howie Lettow Memorial 150 presented by RaceTeamGear.com event July 8-9 at The Milwaukee Mile is one of the most affable characters in all of NASCAR, accomplished racer and TV personality Kenny Wallace.
One year ago, his older brother Rusty Wallace came out of driving retirement to compete in the inaugural Howie Lettow 150 and will be listed as Kenny's car owner. This year, among the stellar field of expected driving talent Kenny will face includes uber-popular NASCAR champion driver and Wisconsin native Matt Kenseth.
"Rusty told me DO NOT take this race lightly because the best are there!" Kenny emphatically stated in a recent interview. "I studied Rusty's situation (last year) real close. My number one goal is to make the feature."
Growing up in St. Louis, Mo., Kenny said it was a big deal in the late 1970's as an impressionable teenager to come to Milwaukee to work on Rusty's crew and served as a rear tire changer.
"When I got the chance to drive in a race at Milwaukee in 1986, I ran against the legend Joe Shear in the top five, and it was by far one of my best races in my young career," he said. "Getting the chance to go from the half-mile tracks back home to race on the Mile - with all the history and being part of races where my brother raced stock cars against A.J. Foyt and Joe Ruttman - man, that was huge!"
Flash foward to this coming July 8-9. Kenny will have his choice of two new super late models and two brand new motors Rusty has purchased. Last summer, Kenny finished 3rd at Flamboro Speedway in Canada in a super late model event with short track legend Junior Hanley serving as his crew chief. The pair will be reunited for the Howie Lettow 150.
"I'm taking this race incredibly serious. Junior is really smart and I will do what it takes to be competitive," Kenny said.
The 2012 inaugural Howie Lettow 150 event boasted over 70 entries in the ARCA Midwest Tour division. To entice an even deeper field of racers from across the United States, this year's race winner will receive $10,000.
"I am so happy Steve (Einhaus, event promoter and ARCA Midwest Tour VP) and his staff have put racing back on the Mile," the NASCAR Nationwide Series driver shared. "Fans gotta keep coming out and supporting this race. Rusty told me a lot of quality teams and a ton of fans came out last year. We need to tell the fans they need to keep supporting this event for racing to live on. This race is a gift to Milwaukee, really."
Kenny also has vivid memories of racing against Lettow and the teams the Watertown, Wis. native worked on. "Howie was a nice man and the first methodical crew chief I raced against, a real engineering type," he recalled.
Furthering his desire to race for the victory - and to add his name alongside third-generation racer Travis Sauter as a Howie Lettow 150 winner - is the fact that Kenny's wife Kim has several family members that live in West Allis just blocks from the speedway. He's competed in an estimated 17 national series races at the Milwaukee Mile between 1986 and 2009, and made his landmark 400th NASCAR Nationwide Series start there in 2008.
"For several reasons I get jacked up every time I get back to Milwaukee to drive a race car. It's like MY Daytona 500, as much as it has been for all those Wisconsin racers I've raced against," he continued. "I imagine it'll be as big of a deal for the next generation of short track drivers I'll face come July 8th and 9th."
For complete event details and to purchase money-saving tickets in advance, visit www.ARCAfest.com.
Be sure to follow the ARCA Midwest Tour on Facebook (midwest tour) and Twitter (@midwesttour).
The ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards has crowned 30 ARCA national champions in 60 seasons since 1953, and has toured over 200 race tracks in 26 states since its inception. The series has tested the abilities of drivers and race teams over the most diverse schedule of stock car racing events in the world, visiting tracks ranging from 0.375 mile to 2.66 miles in length, on both paved and dirt surfaces as well as a left- and right-turn road course in its most recent season.
Founded by John and Mildred Marcum in 1953 in Toledo, Ohio, the Automobile Racing Club of America (ARCA) is recognized among the leading sanctioning bodies in the country. Closing in on completing its sixth decade after hundreds of thousands of miles of racing, ARCA administers over 100 race events each season in four professional touring series and local weekly events.