A wide smile crossed Kenny Wallace’s face as he proudly showed young Alexis MacEachern and Holly Hartman photos of his grandchildren.
That was just one of myriad memorable moments the racing legend shared with fans during an autograph session along the track at Riverside International Speedway.
Then, and throughout the weekend, Wallace provided not only countless signatures, but also handshakes, hugs and even a few sing-a-longs.
“I wore everybody out in the United States, because I have got a big mouth. I run it hard, so everyone there is tired of me. I come up here and everyone loves me,” the St. Louis, Missouri native said, with a laugh, moments after finishing third in the annual IWK 250 feature Sunday afternoon (July 15).
Noting his maternal family roots in Alberta, the 25-year NASCAR veteran said he enjoyed every moment of his weekend north of the border.
“Canada holds a special place in my heart. Everyone was so nice to me, which is something I appreciate so much,” Wallace said.
The FOX Sports Racing analyst, who continues to compete on short tracks across his home country, was the most recent celebrity driver to get behind the wheel of the IWK Cat Car for Kids – sponsored by Toromont Cat – joining Aric Almirola, Marcos Ambrose, Matt Crafton, Ricky Craven, Brad Keselowski, Joey Logano, Mark Martin, David Reutimann and Regan Smith, who is the only one to take the checkered flag in the feature race.
“He is just a super, super, super guy,” Nova Racing owner and driver Donald Chisholm said of Wallace.
“I have never seen anyone that would engage with people and the fans, like him, and as much as he does.”
He talked about getting to know Wallace “a little bit over the past few days.”
“It’s not a show – it’s the real deal,” Chisholm said of his well-known infectious personality.
“We can’t thank him enough for everything he has done during his visit here.”
He added Wallace also did “one hell of a job” in the race.
“He was struggling a little bit yesterday [Saturday], as well, and the boys went to work,” Chisholm said of the Nova Racing team.
“For him to end up third was pretty respectable; a new car he had never sat in before and a track he has never been at. To come out of there [in third] – against so much competition – is pretty impressive,” he added.
Wallace, who has 905 starts in NASCAR’s top-three series, holds the record for the most starts in the XFINITY Series (547), including nine victories.