Chrissy Wallace Excels at Two Sports
The 15-year-old sophomore at J.M. Robinson High School in Concord, N.C., has juggled her summer vacation between playing left field for the Denver Dazzle Blue, a fast-pitch softball team, and competing in the Legends Car Semi-Pro division of the Summer Shootout Series each Tuesday night at Lowe¿s Motor Speedway.
This is the fourth year Wallace has competed in the Summer Shootout. She started driving Bandoleros in 1998 and moved to the larger and more powerful Legends Cars in 2002.
¿I have been playing softball my entire life,¿ Wallace explained. ¿It¿s only been the last couple of years that I have become serious about racing. I¿m very lucky. I get to participate in two sports that I¿m good at. Most kids only find one they really enjoy.¿
Wallace¿s ¿summer vacation¿ has seen her on the softball diamond Thursday through Sunday and on the quarter-mile paved oval at Lowe¿s Motor Speedway for practice on Monday nights and racing on Tuesday nights.
¿What summer vacation?¿ Wallace asked with a laugh. ¿With softball and racing, my schedule is extremely hectic, but I love every minute of it.¿
Wallace started playing softball on a parks and recreation team while still in elementary school. She immediately made her mark on the field and quickly moved to more competitive levels of the stick-and-ball sport.
¿I want to move up in racing like I have been able to advance through the softball leagues,¿ said Wallace, noting that her ultimate racing goal is NASCAR Winston Cup, where her father and uncles, Rusty and Kenny, currently compete.
¿I want to be the first successful female driver on the Cup level,¿ she said with confidence. ¿But, for now, I would have to say my favorite sport is softball. Maybe that will change when I become more competitive in racing.¿
Wallace has found that many of the skills she acquired playing softball, including competitiveness and preparation, also apply to racing.
¿The biggest thing I want to take from softball is the element of teamwork,¿ said Wallace, whose race team consists of only her father and crew chief Curt Andrews. ¿I know when I make it to the next level in racing there will be more teamwork involved because I will have more people to trust and rely on.¿
After seven of the 10 Summer Shootout Series events, Wallace¿s 18th place in the Semi-Pro division point standings was not an accurate reflection of her on-track performance. She had two top-10 showings, including a third-place finish early in the season, and was running near the front of the pack in numerous other events when tangles or skirmishes ended her night.
Scheduled to run each Tuesday night through Aug. 12, the 10th annual Summer Shootout Series features three classes of Legends Car racing, three classes of Bandolero action and the exciting Thunder Roadsters.
Admission is just $5 for adults. Children 6-12 are admitted for $3 with kids under 6 free. Tickets are available in advance at the speedway ticket office and at gates 4 and 5A the night of the event. Parking is free. Contact the speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS for information or to purchase tickets.
Spectator gates open at 5 p.m. with preliminary action at 5:25 p.m. Feature racing begins at 7:30 p.m. and will conclude by 10:15 p.m.