A lot has been said about Steven Wallace over the years, some of it deserved, some of it not so much. But if there is one thing that can be said for certain about Rusty Wallace’s little boy is that there is never a dull moment.
Wallace, a Nationwide Series regular since 2007, has had his fair share of SportsCenter moments—from the wrecks he’s been involved in, to his attention catching quotes (“I got wrecked by a washed up Sprint Cup driver”), as well as grabbing Kyle Busch’s helmet after the Richmond race.
And now thanks to Twitter, fans can enjoy many more adventures of the driver of the 5-Hour Energy Toyota.
Last week it was supposed to be about Wallace racing in his first ever Camping World Truck Series event. It was an off-weekend for the Nationwide Series, and Wallace was going to climb aboard the Billy Ballew Motorsports No. 15 Red Tops Action Toyota at the Atlanta Motor Speedway.
Before race weekend even arrived he was already being overshadowed…by himself.
Wallace tweeted on March 4th, Thursday before race weekend, that he had been involved in an accident with his mailbox. “Not a good start to the day. I was backing down my driveway and ran over my mailbox. Opps [sic ] now I know it’s there I guess. Hahah.”
Leave it to Steven.
On Friday, his truck team left it to him to go out and shake down their hot rod before qualifying and racing. After finishing fourth fastest in the final practice session, the team morale was high, and expectations were set.
Saturday morning, the No. 15 qualified in the sixth position for the E-Z-Go 200, as Wallace continued to impress those around the garage. His first time in a truck, and he was taking to it like a duck to water.
While Kevin Harvick and Kyle Busch asserted themselves as the dominant drivers during race time, Wallace asserted himself as a contender. Leading laps and keeping his nose clean, the 22-year-old was in the thick of things down to the wire, even battling the top two, Harvick and Busch, with less than 60 laps to go.
“Man, I had a blast today. These trucks are a lot of fun to drive,” Wallace said afterwards.
“We had a pretty good Red Top Auctions Toyota Tundra today, but we just fought to get it tightened up quite enough where we could hold off Kevin and Kyle for a longer period of time.”
Once the dust settled from the final caution and a 14-lap shootout, Wallace completed every lap and brought home the truck in once piece and with a finish of fourth place.
Saturday proved that Wallace is no slouch behind the wheel, regardless of the reputation he may have earned, and the same could be said for the team he was driving for. Billy Ballew Motorsports may be thought of as a team that Busch brought to stardom, but they had made their mark long before that.
Ballew formed his team in 1996 with Tony and Mark Gibson, competing in the ARCA Series before going Camping World Truck Series racing in 2002. Drivers such as Kenny Wallace, Paul Menard, Bill Lester, John Andretti, and many more have all climbed aboard a Ballew truck.
In 2004, the company got their first truck win thanks to Shane Hmiel at Las Vegas, and the wins have kept coming since then. Billy Ballew Motorsports is now considered one of the top teams in the CWTS and one that any driver would be lucky to be apart of.
Wallace found that out on Saturday and greatly enjoyed his experience. If sponsorship comes along, he’d like to, and may get to, do it again. “I had a lot of fun [Saturday] and want to thank Billy Ballew Motorsports and Red Top Auctions for the opportunity; I hope to be able to drive one of these trucks again really soon.”
However, Wallace’s first priority is the Nationwide Series, where he sits sixth in points heading into the fourth race of their season. That comes in two weeks at the Bristol Motor Speedway, something that Wallace is very excited about. “It’s time to put my focus on getting ready for the Nationwide Series race at Bristol in a couple of weeks,” he said after the truck race.
“Bristol’s absolutely my favorite race track and we’ve had a really good year so far on the Nationwide side. [Saturday’s] run just gives us even more momentum heading into Bristol.”
The younger Wallace captured his first career Nationwide Series pole at the track in 2007 and continues on a family legacy at the Tennessee bullring that saw his father win eight times over the course of his career.
Success and a love of Bristol must run in the family, not sure about running over mailboxes though.