Courtesy of Articles.KY3.com
Chrissy Wallace of famous Wallace racing family leading national late model standings
Danica Patrick announced on Thursday that she was leaving the IndyCar racing circuit in 2012 to devote her driving skills to NASCAR, where she’ll race in the Nationwide series full-time and up to 10 events in the highest-level Sprint Cup series. And while Danica may be the best known female racer in the country, there’s a young woman with ties to the Ozarks whose also making some history for her gender.
Lebanon I-44 Speedway is the home of the first female in history to lead the national championship standings for late models in the American Speed Association. And her last name may be a little familiar. 23 year-old Chrissy Wallace is a member of the legendary St. Louis Wallace racing family including her father Mike and her uncles, Rusty and Kenny.
Chrissy currently lives in Concord, North Carolina in the area where most of NASCAR’s team operations are located. She could have chosen any ASA track in the nation to compete for a national title, but every week she makes the trek halfway across the country to Lebanon because of I-44′s connections to her family and other racing legends.
“My dad won the championship here in 1990,” Chrissy explained, “So I wanted to come back here and compete at a track that means a lot to our family.”
“This track has a reputation and history of producing great drivers,” adds Craig Armstrong, the I-44 track promoter. “Larry Phillips (a five time champion), Carl Edwards, Jamie McMurray. And having Chrissy Wallace do what she has done here this summer is truly phenomenal.”
Chrissy has won 6 races at Lebanon, but as you can tell from the numerous rubbin’ marks on the paint scheme on the sides of her car, it hasn’t all been easy. Recently Wallace got into a bumping exchange with another car whose driver was competing for the championship at Lebanon, and after a series of contacts, Chrissy spun the driver-out from behind, leading to a heated exchange in the pit area after the race.
“I had to brake-check-up real hard and got into the back of him and spun him out,” Chrissy recalled. “And afterwards we got into a pretty big argument and there were a lot of people coming down to my hauler. But I can stand up for myself. I’m not gonna let people run all over me just because this is a male-dominated sport.”
And while another female driver, Danica Patrick, has already made in-roads on the NASCAR circuit, Chrissy, who’s driven in two Nationwide races and seven NASCAR truck series events, hopes to be joining Patrick soon.
“It’s helping me in that she’s showing that females can do it,” Chrissy says with a smile. “And hopefully I can then get out there and prove that I can out-run her.”