Steve Wallace may not be a St. Louis native, but his family ties to the area make him feel right at home. Wallace’s father, Rusty, and uncles, Mike and Kenny, launched their legendary racing careers in the dirt and asphalt of the St. Louis region. The legacy and tradition his family holds in “The Mound” city have Wallace excited each time he races at Gateway International Raceway (GIR).
The Camping World 200 will mark Wallace’s fourth NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) start in the No. 15 Billy Ballew Motorsports Toyota. Wallace most recently drove the No. 15 truck in the Lucas Oil 200 at Iowa Speedway, in which his right-front tire blew on Lap 38 ending a promising start. Wallace has never competed in NCWTS competition at GIR, but has four Nationwide Series starts at the 1.25-mile oval, posting a best finish of 24th-place.
Wallace Comments on the Camping World 200:
“Everybody thinks I’m from St. Louis, but I’m not. I’m from North Carolina, but my family is from there. The fans have been so cool to me, though, that it makes me feel like an honorary native. I like St. Louis. It’s cool.
“I like the race track. It’s one of the weirder tracks that we go to, but it’s always fun. It’s really unique. The corners of the track are completely different, so it’s impossible to have a setup that’s perfect on both ends. If you’re good through (Turns) 1 and 2, your truck will struggle through 3 and 4, or vice-versa. It puts a lot of the race in the driver’s hands because he’ll have to be good where his truck isn’t.
“I’ve always gotten along with Billy Ballew. I’ve been friends with him forever and he’s letting me run his truck at Gateway. I don’t go truck racing because it helps my Nationwide program. There’s not a lot of information you gain from running a truck that will help your Nationwide car. There’s just not much that will transfer between the two. I do it because Billy puts me in great equipment and I have a lot of fun. When Billy asks you to drive one of his trucks, you know you stand a shot of winning, so I jumped at the chance.”
|About Billy Ballew Motorsports:
BBM started competing full-time in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series in 2002 and has had a variety of well known NASCAR drivers over the years. The list includes Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin, Aric Almirola, Brian Ickler, John Andretti, Kenny Wallace, Paul Menard, Bill Lester, Geoffrey Bodine, Joe Ruttman and a host of others. It was Shane Hmiel who piloted the No. 15 for the 2004 season that brought Billy Ballew his first win at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway in the team’s 100th start in the NCWTS. Since then Billy Ballew Motorsports has taken 18 more trips to victory lane.