Hall of Fame NASCAR driver Rusty Wallace, who climbed out of his No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge for the last time at the end of the 2005 NASCAR Cup Series season, was named auto racing analyst for ESPN in December 2005. His first assignment was on site at the 2006 Daytona 500 for ESPN’s SportsCenter coverage.
Wallace, a 55-time winner in NASCAR’s top series and the 1989 NASCAR Cup champion, is lead analyst for ESPN’s NASCAR studio programs, including NASCAR Countdown and NASCAR Now. Wallace also calls selected NASCAR Nationwide Series races from the booth. He spent the 2006 season as an analyst for ESPN’s coverage of the IndyCar Series before moving to NASCAR in 2007 as the stock car racing series returned to ESPN.
Wallace, whose 706th career start ended his 2005 season-long “Last Call” tour in the No. 2 Dodge, fell just 28 laps short of leading 20,000 laps in his 25-year career. The 1984 Rookie of the Year ended his 22nd consecutive full-time Cup season eighth in the standings, the 17th time he finished among the top 10. At the time of his retirement, Wallace ranked as one of the top five money winners in NASCAR history, with nearly $50 million in career earnings.
In 1991, Wallace helped form Penske Racing South with Roger Penske and Don Miller, as the legendary Penske name returned to NASCAR after an 11-year absence. Wallace sold his interest when he retired in 2005. In 1998, NASCAR named him one of its 50 greatest drivers of all time.
In his last year on the NASCAR circuit, every race facility honored Wallace and nine race facilities now on the NASCAR schedule offered permanent dedications. More than a dozen state, city, and county seats of government declared race day as an officially recognized Rusty Wallace Day. In addition, bestowed upon Wallace were Delaware’s Order of the First State and North Carolina’s Order of the Long Leaf Pine, the highest civilian honors in those states.
Wallace has been voted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame and the International Motorsports Hall of Fame. He also is a member of the National Motorsports Press Association (NMPA) Hall of Fame, the St. Louis Sports Hall of Fame and the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame.
Wallace enjoys relaxing on the golf course and piloting his various aircrafts. He owns six car dealerships in Tennessee and helped design the Iowa Speedway in Newton, Iowa.