MARNE, Mich. — Former NASCAR Cup Series driver Kenny Wallace is no stranger to jumping into a stranger's car and going racing all across the world.
However, he admits there's something different about coming back to West Michigan and, specifically, to Berlin Raceway.
"It was like, "Hey Kenny Wallace, what do you have going on this date?" And I said, "Why?" They said, "We have a race at Berlin," and I said, "I'll be there,'" Wallace laughed, recalling how Berlin Raceway recruited him.
Wallace was, in fact, all laughs on Friday as he arrived to Berlin for a test session.
He's genuinely excited to be back to one of the tracks he got his start on back in the 1980s.
"Berlin Raceway is part of my past and I had a lot of fun here," Wallace smiled. "A lot of great races and great people. I'm excited to be back."
Wallace will race in the four-cylinder and limited late model divisions on Saturday night at Berlin.
Both cars are courtesy of Holland's Nick de Longpre, who says he's excited to have such a big name driving one of his cars, but it will be weird to be racing against him.
"Being by your other car on the race track might be a little nerve-racking, but other than that, it's pretty set," de Longpre said. "I think we both have a top three car and I think we can both be up there for the win at the end."
Local short tracks across the country are struggling a bit right now and Wallace is taking it upon himself to fix it.
He's encouraging everyone to come out to Saturday's race and says he'll be sticking around afterward to meet everyone.
"I'll be here ready to drink a little beer after the race and have a little fellowship; that's what we need to get local racing back," he added. "We need the fans to come out and relax and have a good time."
Out of the hundreds of race tracks he's been to around the world, Wallace says Berlin is a unique challenge.
"I've been to hundreds and hundreds of race tracks all across the world like Tokyo, Canada and Mexico. What separates this race track is it's a complete circle, you're always going around in a circle, there's no time to relax, no straightaways."
Tickets are still available for Saturday's races at Berlin, which begin at 4:00 PM. Get more information by clicking here.
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