HALIFAX, Nova Scotia – Kenny Wallace was declared the official winner of the Parts for Trucks Pro Stock Tour’s IWK 250 on Tuesday evening, after the original top two finishers were disqualified due to unapproved carburetors discovered during post-race technical inspection.
Cassius Clark and Dave O’Blenis were the winner and runner-up, respectively, of the rain-delayed 250-lap race at Riverside Int’l Speedway when it concluded on Sunday afternoon, but their finishes were thrown out due to the technical infractions, elevating Wallace to the victory.
J.R. Fitzpatrick was also disqualified from the event due to an unapproved carburetor. He originally crossed the line in fifth.
Parts for Trucks Pro Stock Tour officials confirmed the change in finishing order via a news release on the series website.
The NASCAR on FOX analyst and regular dirt modified racer was in his trailer at Eldora Speedway preparing to strap into his No. 36 Toyota-backed entry at the half-mile Ohio dirt oval when he got the news via social media, just moments before speaking to SPEED SPORT about winning the race.
“I would have rather had those top two cars in front of me be legal, and me just finish third, but unfortunately I’ve heard that these types of things happen in the late models all the time,” said Wallace. “I accept the win. I’m completely honored to win one of Canada’s biggest races. To win the IWK 250 … I’m still trying to soak it in and wrap my head around it. It’s unbelievable to think about.
“We worked really hard for the race and to try to win it,” noted the 54-year-old native of St. Louis. “We came from 15th with 25 to go, and I cracked into the top five. It was a huge effort. I’m so humbled.”
Though Wallace is predominately a dirt-track racer nowadays, his early years in racing were spent on pavement touring in the late model ranks with the old American Speed Ass’n.
Wallace recalled those days fondly on Tuesday and noted that his win was a team effort.
“These are the cars I grew up in. I started racing from 1986 to 1988 in the real ASA, with Dick Trickle, Alan Kulwicki, Bob Senneker and Mike Eddy … the real greats in those types of race cars. I run them once every year or so, but I guess I’ve never really forgotten how to drive them.
“I am a dirt racer now, but a year or two ago I went to Wisconsin and won one of the big segments of the Dick Trickle 99. The key when you show up in one of those big late model races is to have a really good car, and we had a really good team behind us,” continued Wallace. “I want to thank Donald Chisholm, Gary Crooks and all the people that laid a hand on our effort and helped us to go fast. They really worked hard for me.”
The Missouri veteran compared the tight Riverside third-mile to a pair of Midwestern short tracks he frequented during his earlier days in racing.
“The key was setting up my car and being patient on the outside. I kept trying to get down in line, and Riverside is similar to Anderson, Indiana or Slinger (Super Speedway) where you have to be careful not to get yourself wrecked,” explained Wallace. “I fell way back, but everyone got really loose at the end and my car stayed consistent.”
“Man, this is just a great day,” he smiled. “What a great feeling.”
Due to the disqualifications, Cole Butcher became the race runner-up, followed by Craig Slaunwhite in third.
Young guns Braden Langille and Nicholas Naugle completed the top five.