NASCAR's Wallace Jr. Speaks At Martinsville High
Darrell Wallace Jr. went back to school Tuesday, but unlike most NASCAR drivers, he didn't stand out in the crowd.
The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver turned 20 a week ago, so for the several hours he spent at Martinsville High School Tuesday, he could have easily been mistaken for a student. When he addressed the entire student body, Wallace stressed that he was truly no different than any of the 600 or so students in the audience.
"One thing that I want you to take away from this is that I'm the same as you guys," Wallace said as he finished his day at the school. "I'm no star. I'm the same as you. A couple of years ago I was sitting right where you are."
Wallace toured the recently-renovated Martinsville High School as part of a promotional event for the upcoming Goody's® Headache Relief Shot® 500 Powered by Kroger weekend at Martinsville Speedway. More than $10 million in improvements and renovations to the school were unveiled just this week.
Wallace will be making his second truck series start at Martinsville on October 26. In his first start at the half-mile track in April, he started second and finished fifth. He has four top-5 and 10 top-10 finishes in this, his first full season in the truck series.
It was a hands-on tour for Wallace Tuesday, who graduated from high school a semester early in 2011 so he could concentrate on his racing career. He was interviewed by students on the set of the high school's television station and got to operate a rolling robot that the school entered in a statewide robotic competition last year in addition to getting to see many of the high-tech features of the new classrooms.
"Today has been a blast. You can really see how the kids are focused on the future and how to get started in business and the whole business degree," Wallace said at the end of the day. "I'm still fascinated by that because I didn't have that. It's not like I'm 20 years or 30 years older than these guys. I just graduated three years ago and we didn't have any of this, or if we did, I didn't know about it."
After speaking to the student body, Wallace spent about a half-hour taking questions. For this group there weren't any silly questions, just good, solid inquiries and Wallace offered up some pretty good answers.
On what it took to be successful in racing, Wallace said: "You've got to be able to turn left pretty good and you got to have patience. Patience may be the most important thing."
On how difficult it is when he isn't winning, Wallace said: "It's tough, real tough. It's been over a year (since his last truck series win) but I'm still going hard. I've got five races left this year, so I've still got that chance."
And after being asked about his best advice, Wallace said: "Find something you love to do in life. If you don't love it, find something else. Work hard for what you love."
Tickets for the Goody's® Headache Relief Shot® 500 Powered by Kroger start at just $37.
Advance tickets for the Kroger 200 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race on Saturday, Oct. 26 are just $30 and tickets for Pole Day, Friday, October 25 are $15. Youth 12 and under are admitted free on both October 25 and 26. To purchase tickets for the Goody's® Headache Relief Shot® 500 Powered by Kroger weekend, call 877.RACE.TIX or visit www.martinsvillespeedway.com.
Photo at right: Wallace participates in a live interview on a student run television program called MAVAHI news.