Festival President, Sharen Gromling, is pleased to announce Kenny Wallace as Firefighters’ Marshal for the 96th Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival. Wallace is a retired NASCAR driver renowned for his racing prowess and national television on-air persona. As our Firefighters Marshall Kenny Wallace will kick off the parade with “start your engines” as he leads the festival fire truck brigade through crowd-lined streets in historic downtown Winchester, VA.
Wallace set the NASCAR record in 2011 for most career NASCAR Xfinity Series starts, amassing nine wins, 10 pole positions, 66 top-five and 173 top-10 finishes in the 547 Xfinity starts. His racing career spans more than 25 years having competed in more than 900 races in NASCAR’s top three racing divisions.
The 1986 American Speed Association (ASA) 22-year-old rookie-of-the-year made his NASCAR debut driving with Dale Earnhardt, finishing seventh in the NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Martinsville Speedway. He transitioned into a full-time Xfinity Series ride in 1989 for a team fielded by his brother Rusty Wallace, where he was rookie-of-the-year and completed the season sixth in the point standing. In 1991 Wallace finished runner-up in the Xfinity Series points and is only one of four NASCAR drivers to have won the Most Popular Driver award multiple times. Wallace had his final start in the 2015 Iowa Speedway NASCAR Series race as he drove for Joe Gibbs Racing.
He brought his infectious humor, trademark laugh, and widespread popularity when he worked as an analyst for NASCAR Raceday on FS1, covering the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. Retired from NASCAR driving, Wallace, who is held in high esteem in his field for “racing anything and everything”, continues to race his No. 36 Toyota DIRTcar in more than 60 dirt races per year, a consciously scaled-back effort from years past to afford him more family time.
He is the son of accomplished short-track racer, Russ Wallace, and brother of NASCAR drivers Rusty and Mike Wallace. Born in St. Louis, Wallace was nicknamed “Herman” after the mischievous “Herman the German” cartoon character for his boisterous, full-of-himself behavior. Wallace and his wife, Kim, have three daughter, two granddaughters and one grandson. His family lived in North Carolina for several years during his NASCAR career before moving back to St. Louis in 2016.
Wallace will be attending festival events on Friday, May 5, including the Coronation, presented by Morgan Orthodontics, where he will be knighted by Queen Isabella Astin prior to leading the Hang 10 Car Wash Firefighters’ Parade at 5:30 p.m.
Additionally, he will be an added speaker on Saturday, May 6, at the Partlow Insurance Sports Breakfast at the Tolley Dental Zone in the James R. Wilkins, Jr. Athletic and Event Center on Shenandoah University Campus. He will then ride in the Glo Fiber Grand Feature Parade, which steps off at 1:30 p.m.
Tickets to Festival events are available at www.thebloom.com/events.
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The Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival®, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization dedicated to promoting the beauty of springtime and the apple blossoms in Virginia's Shenandoah Valley through events and initiatives that enhance community spirit and showcases our local agricultural heritage.