The Van Hoy Oil CRA Street Stocks’ second appearance at Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway had star power in the field in the form of former NASCAR drivers Kenny Wallace and Ken Schrader. The pair piloted Street Stocks owned by two of the discipline’s best around the legendary 5/8ths mile on Sunday afternoon as part of the All American 400.
The two drivers experienced days vastly different from each other. Schrader finished third in the race after setting quick time in qualifying in the Chuck Barnes-owned No. 5, while Wallace drove from 16th to finish sixth in a second car owned by eventual race winner Brett Hudson.
For Wallace, it was his 12th start at Nashville and his first since he ran a NASCAR Xfinity Series race at the facility in April 1999. After a slow start to the day in qualifying, he was the race’s biggest mover when he went 16th to sixth during the 40-lap feature.
We qualified too bad and started 16th and my gosh, we were running good. We got all the way to sixth and they threw the darn checkered flag. I knew I was in trouble when they said they were going to shorten it from 50 laps to 40 laps. I needed five more laps to catch Schrader, damn it. But it was a lot of fun.
"It’s just a completely different car. No excuses, it took a while. I had to learn to let off early to attack the corners. But I was happy to finish sixth and pass cars."
Wallace now spends most of his time behind the wheel on dirt, but he also made several starts on the hardtop in 2021 in a multitude of different classes. Among those races include a win in an ABC Stock at Kinross Speedpark plus races in an Outlaw Super Late Model at South Bend Motor Speedway and in a Limited Late Model at Berlin Raceway.
While his pavement racing schedule increased this season, Wallace still has plans to spend most of his time on dirt traveling around the country with his UMP Modified.
“I’ve done a lot of pavement racing this year. I talked to my buddy Jeff Striegle (MRN host and GM of Berlin Raceway) and we ran Twin 30’s up there and finished second in both of them. It’s a deal where I can race asphalt but I’ve run 905 NASCAR races. It’s like what Kevin Harvick’s crew chief Rodney Childers said, darn it Herman, you’re having a lot of fun. And I guarantee you I really am.”
Unlike Wallace, Schrader’s past experience at Nashville was limited, but one of his few starts going into the day had been in the NASCAR Cup Series’ final race at Nashville in 1984. He was fastest in group qualifying and finished third after a strong run in the main event.
“I’ve haven’t really raced here but maybe half a dozen times but it’s pretty special. It’s one of those dozen or so racetracks around the country that has a ton of history. It’s really special to be here.”
It was Schrader’s second Street Stock race in the year driving for Chuck Barnes, the other one coming in April at Salem Speedway when he finished fifth after starting on the pole. He says while the two tracks look similar, Street Stocks drive completely different at Nashville than they do at Salem.
“This is my second race but the other one was at Salem, there’s a lot more speed at Salem. They’re kind of all over the place because of the tire rule but there’s nothing wrong with that.”
-Story by: Koty Geyer, Speed51 National Correspondent – Twitter: @kgeyer3
-Photo Credit: Speed51/Will Bellamy