For some of the "older" racers, Nascar and racing is just in the blood, and the same is true for Rusty Wallace. His father Russ Wallace was a short-track champion throughout the Midwest and his oldest son followed in his footsteps.
"Rusty was always a curious kid from the very get-go," recalled the elder Wallace. "He always wanted to know how and why things worked the way they did. If it meant taking things apart and then putting them back together in order to satisfy that curiosity, well then, that’s exactly what he would do. Now, when I look back on his career and see what all that he’s been able to achieve, I just really have to appreciate that trait in Rusty." Russ said. "It’s really the backbone for all of his success. He’s known in the sport as a great competitor with the chassis. They all say that he knows his race cars from the ground up."1
Wallace began racing on the short-tracks, with his first race at Lakehill Speedway
, near Valley Park, Missouri
in 1973, and then moved his way up to the big leagues.
In 1973, Wallace received his first Rookie of the Year from the Central Auto Racing Association and would win 200 feature-races from 1974-1978. Rusty then joined the USAC Stock Car circuit and would receive Rookie of the Year from this association as well. His first year he was points champion runner up, missing the championship by 3 points. His first race in the Nascar Winston Cup was at Darlington Raceway in 1984 at the Southern 500. He received another Rookie of the Year in 1984 for the Winston Cup and at his 72nd start, 1986, won for the first time at Bristol. In 1989, Wallace was Nascar Cup Champion and in 2001 he became the holder of the record for consecutive racing-wining seasons to 16 years. No other driver has a longer streak.
Wallace is known as a short track specialist. He excells at this type of race wining 18%, finishing in the top-five in 49%, and in the top-10 69% of lifetime short-track starts.2 (Short-track is less then a mile in length.) Rusty though would rather be known as an all around racer then a specialist, though he needs to improve his track record in other places.
The rest of the information for this node came from the above sites and Nascar.com