Fast Facts: Rusty Wallace, 2013 NASCAR Hall of Fame Inductee

Credit: NASCAR Media
1989 Cup Series champion Rusty Wallace is one of five inductees, along with Leonard Wood, Buck Baker, Cotton Owens and Herb Thomas, into the NASCAR Hall of Fame in 2013. Learn more about the team owner and broadcaster before the Induction Ceremony on February 8.

  • Russell William Wallace Jr. was born August 14, 1956 in Arnold, Missouri. He is the older brother of drivers Mike and Kenny Wallace, father of driver Steven Wallace and uncle of driver Chrissy Wallace (Mike’s daughter).
  • Wallace began racing on the short tracks of the mid-west in the 1970s, winning Rookie of the Year in the United State Auto Club (USAC) Stock Car division in 1979. In 1983, Wallace won the American Speed Association (ASA) title before moving to NASCAR full-time.
  • Wallace made his NASCAR Cup Series debut in 1980 driving for Roger Penske and finishing second. He raced nine more times before making his full-time debut in 1984, when he was named Cup Series Rookie of the Year. Teaming up with Raymond Beadle and Blue Max Racing from 1986 to 1990, Wallace found great success, winning 18 times and taking home the Cup Series title in 1989. Wallace earned his first win in the series in April 1986 at Bristol Motor Speedway, a track that nearly took his life in 1988 when he barrel-rolled down the frontstretch during a practice session; ESPN’s Dr. Jerry Punch was on the scene and revived Wallace, who was not breathing when Punch reached him.
  • For the 1991 season, Wallace signed with Roger Penske and found more success, winning 37 times in both Pontiacs and Fords. Wallace was also the 1991 International Race of Champions (IROC) winner and was named one of the 50 Greatest Drivers in NASCAR in 1998. Wallace retired from racing in 2005 with a total of 55 Cup Series wins, 34 of which came on short tracks.
  • In 2006, Wallace made the switch to broadcasting, joining the ESPN/ABC crew. He also got more involved in Rusty Wallace Incorporated, which began as a marketing firm in 1984; he fielded cars for his son Steven until 2011, when the team shut down due to lack of sponsorship. The team will return in 2013 for 10 to 15 races with the younger Wallace behind the wheel.
  • Wallace and his wife Patti have three children: sons Steven and Greg and daughter Katie. Wallace is an avid pilot with his own Learjet 31A and enjoys golfing. He is principal stakeholder in the Rusty Wallace Automotive Group, which owns six dealerships in eastern Tennessee.
  • Wallace was influential in the design of Iowa Speedway in Newton, Iowa. The track was patterned after Richmond International Raceway, where Wallace won six times in his career. The track hosted its first event in September 2007.
  • Learn more about Wallace at his website

Fast Facts: Rusty Wallace, 2013 NASCAR Hall of Fame Inductee Fast Facts: Rusty Wallace, 2013 NASCAR Hall of Fame Inductee Reviewed by Paula on Tuesday, February 05, 2013 Rating: 5