Officials from World Wide Technology Raceway in Madison, Illinois, and St. Louis motorsports personality Kenny Wallace today announced the popular Kenny Wallace Live! with John Roberts will return as the official pre-race party of the second annual Enjoy Illinois 300 NASCAR Cup Series race on Sunday, June 4.
Last year‘s event featured the hosts of the popular old SPEED network show NASCAR RaceDay, along with special motorsports industry guests on a stage on WWTR‘s midway. Industry professionals estimated last year‘s midway audience exceeded 5,000 fans.
“It started out as an idea over lunch shortly after we announced that the NASCAR Cup Series was coming to St. Louis for the first time,” said WWTR Executive Vice President and General Manager Chris Blair. “I asked Kenny if he thought we would do something that would bring back the energy that we used to see when SPEED was doing RaceDay back in the mid-2000s. He said, ‘Let‘s do it. I‘ll make some calls.‘ Our original plan was to do a version of the old show and add a touch of stupid human tricks from Late Night with David Letterman. Our motto is, ‘Not your normal race track‘ and we didn‘t want to just roll out the same old product that we were seeing at other events.”
Kenny Wallace has been a strong supporter of the rebirth of World Wide Technology Raceway for the last 10 years. Kenny‘s presence with the local media, his engagement with the local race fans and his willingness to jump in to help whenever needed was a huge factor in winning fans over to the once-shuttered track. When the NASCAR Cup Series race was announced, having Kenny whip the local fans into a frenzy as a way of saying thank you for their support was a given. But no one expected the overwhelming response.
“The 2022 NASCAR race in St. Louis was magical for me,” said Wallace. “When we decided to do the Kenny Wallace Show we were hoping to give the fans a place to have some fun before the race. I was overwhelmed with happiness when John Roberts and myself walked out on stage and looked at that big crowd. We knew the show was a success when I arrived back at the FOX TV compound and all the FOX TV executives told me that the Kenny Wallace Show was the talk around the speedway. It was a big crowd, and the fans are the ones that made it so much fun. So we are gonna do it again in 2023.”
The 2022 Kenny Wallace Live! show featured appearances by Kenny‘s racing brothers Rusty and Mike. Rusty was NASCAR‘s 1984 Rookie of the Year and won the Cup Series‘ championship in 1989. Mike competed in the NASCAR Xfinity Series from 1990 to 2020 and in the NASCAR Cup Series from 1991 to 2015. He has four Xfinity Series wins.
The flying Wallace brothers were joined on stage by 2014 Cup Series champion Kevin Harvick and 2017 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series champion Christopher Bell. Blair did a quick interview, then tossed free beer tokens to the crowd. WWTR owner and CEO Curtis Francois told the story of the track‘s rebirth and thanked the fans. Local TV personality Mr. Gary from the syndicated Them Yo‘ People TV show joined in the festivities.
“As soon as Kenny and John walked off stage, I knew we had something magical and we had to do it again in 2023,” Blair continued. “We‘re happy to announce we‘re doing the show again this year and, now that we know we captured lightning in a bottle, we are going to take it over the top for Episode 2. People already are attempting to replicate what we did last year so we are going to focus on keeping them chasing us. There‘s going to be more energy, more action — more free beer tokens — more craziness and, most importantly, more Kenny in 2023.”
The show is free to all ticketholders and will take place on Sunday morning at 9:30 a.m. Central. The show will be preceded by special guest appearances and music, beginning at 8 a.m.
For more Kenny Wallace content and the latest news on NASCAR weekend at WWTR, tune into the Kenny Wallace Show each week on YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/@KennyWallace36).
For tickets and information, please call WWTR at (618) 215-8888 or visit www.WWTRaceway.com. Follow WWTR on social media platforms.
— World Wide Technology Raceway —