After the pomp and circumstance, the tributes and shared memories, a final race still had to be run.
In his last NASCAR start, Kenny Wallace started seventh and would finish on the lead lap in 15th, but spent most of the U.S. Cellular 250 floating between 13th and 10th place.
The floating stopped on a restart with 41 laps left. Wallace and his No. 20 went for a ride in Turns 1 and 2 after Darrell Wallace Jr. (no relation) hit his left rear. Then Cale Conley bounced off his nose giving the No. 20 significant damage.
“It was just a deal where everything was going good,” Wallace said afterward. “It looked like we were going to close in on a good finish, but as normal short track racing, the horns came out at the very end.”
Wallace’s 904th NASCAR race wouldn’t end without more old fashioned teeth gnashing. Less than five laps remained in the scheduled distance when Wallace was caught up in a Roush Fenway Racing affair with Ryan Reed, Wallace Jr. and Chris Buescher.
“No excuse – running along in the middle of the race there and I felt something hit my left side leg and low and behold my left side spot mirror fell out,” Wallace said. “I just chewed Ryan Reed’s butt out. I said, ‘Buddy, next time you spin somebody out like that, don’t pass me up.’ He was going to walk right past me on pit road, so (you) try to give those young kids a little bit of information. I said, ‘When you spin somebody out, you stop.’
Reed was apologetic in his interview with NBCSN.
“I’m sorry to him, right off the bat,” Reed said. “Did not mean to. I tried to cross him up and he started coming down and I tried getting out of it. I just carried too much speed into (Turn) 3 … I definitely didn’t want to be the guy to spin him in his last race.”
Wallace’s career ends having with him having raced in a record 547 Xfinity Series events.
“It was exciting. Obviously, I’m not going to be upset over a hard-earned, 15th-place finish,” Wallace said, later adding, “The only bummer is I can’t go back and get him next week.”