The retired racing sensation Rusty Wallace, aged 59, who serves as a broadcaster for auto racing car events for ESPN and ABC, recently addressed the Chamber of Commerce.
The NASCAR Hall of Famer attended the Chamber of Commerce’s annual banquet, where he spoke on behalf of Martinsville Speedway. He also shared his memories of the time he spent at the Paperclip.
“I used to tell people ‘I get to go to Martinsville,’” Wallace said. “A lot of drivers would say ‘I have to go to Martinsville’… I was telling those guys ‘if you hate short-track racing I’m already in your head because I’m going to kick your butt dude because I love this place.’”
Wallace has won seven races at Martinsville during his entire career. But the ones that he remembers the most are the one that he won first and the one that he won last.
“I have a lot of good things to say about Martinsville, obviously my first win… my last win. I’m going to talk about being a young punk in St. Louis, Missouri just dying to get my break, just dying to get into NASCAR and when I showed up at Martinsville, I didn’t feel like everybody had me beat, I felt like I was as good as some of those guys because I won so many short-track races.”
“The first one stands out because I had won at Bristol, Tennessee about three weeks before that and a lot of people thought it was a fluke, then I came back to Martinsville and I won again. When I won again, in my heart I said ‘I made it, that wasn’t a fluke. It was the real deal,”’ Wallace said. “Then you run and win a lot of races on and off and I had a spell where I didn’t think I was going to win again. It was getting tough on me, then to come here for my 55th victory and lock it down and announce my retirement from driving a car was special,” he added proudly.
“My last (win) was at a track that is really special to me.”
And talking about his present career as a broadcaster, the former NASCAR Winston Cup Champion shared how he felt as a broadcaster. He said that though he has retired now, he feels equal excitement even now.
“When I’m broadcasting, I’ll look down in the stands and there are times where fans stand up the entire race, there’s stuff going on all the time and they get so wound up they don’t want to sit down,” the racing legend stated.
He further added: “The action is so tight and the adrenaline is so sky-high as a driver…You don’t have any time to relax at this racetrack. Here at Martinsville, you can’t breathe at all.”
Despite giving such a perfect speech, the Motorsports Hall of Famer revealed that his words were genuine and not scripted as many might have thought.
Wallace is married to his wife Patti. The couple has three children; Greg, Katie, and Stephen.
He has an estimated net worth of $40 million dollars.