He will tell you that he hopes for better performances in two of the sport's biggest races-the World 100 and The Dream at Eldora. To date, he's made the World seven times with best finishes of Seventh in 2001 and Eighth in 2007. "Winning the World 100 is the ultimate goal of my racing career," he says.
In the $100,000-to-win Dream, there have been better results in the seven races he's made. He shows Third in 2000, Fourth in 2002, and Eighth in 1997.
In 2001, he finished a close Third in the Eldora Million. "I kept waiting for something bad to happen to the guys ahead of me, but nothing ever happened," he says. "Winning a million dollars would really have been something."
One of the low points in the Wallace career took place at Twin Cities Raceway Park (Indiana) in 2002. "We were pumping fuel with an electric pump and there was a spark that ignited a heck of a fire," he recalls. "Fortunately, we had taken our two cars out earlier, but it burned up about four dozen tires and a bunch of tools. It also completely burned up the trailer. It was a tough situation, but I got a lot of help from the other teams which I really appreciated."
What Wallace also appreciates are a number of sponsors that have been with him for several years. They include Sunoco Racing Fuels, Johnny Johnson (J&J Steel), JFR Graphics, Gaerte Engines, C.W. Culvert (the family business) and Wayne Crest Farms.
The "Batesville Bullet" nickname has stuck with Wallace.
For this season, he's running a hit-and-miss schedule, showing up at all the big races. "I plan to keep traveling to a minimum, as I think a lot of drivers will be doing this season," he explains. "With diesel fuel costing about four dollars a gallon, it is really going to make it tough on the Dirt Late Model teams. I am just going to see how things go during the year."
Dirt Late Model Advice From Wendell Wallace
Driving You know, if I was thinking about getting into a Dirt Late Model, the best selection is a Crate Late Model. That way, you are actually driving a Dirt Late Model car and you can get the feel of a full-sized car. You learn to know where the front and rear and sides are. Many start their dirt racing career with a Modified, but I wouldn't recommend one since they drive differently from a Late Model and you could develop some bad habits
Technology It is so important to understand the workings of the racecar you drive. I think the best way to do that is to volunteer to work on a team. You will be surprised how much you can learn doing that. I really believe that knowing how to set up one of these cars is more difficult than driving it. No matter how good a driver you are, if the car's setup is not right, you aren't going anywhere.As told to Bill Holder