heart surgery

Sidelined by heart surgery, Mike Wallace will be replaced by brother Kenny next week at Talladega

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Due to recent heart surgery, veteran NASCAR driver Mike Wallace will not be driving in next week’s Winn Dixie 300 NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Talladega Superspeedway.

After experiencing heart pain last week, Wallace, 56, underwent triple bypass surgery and is recovering from the procedure.

“Well this isn’t what the plan was,” Mike Wallace said in a team release. “I felt a little chest pain last week, so I went to the doctor, and the next thing I know, I am going in for surgery.

“My dad had heart surgery about 35 years ago, so I thought I was being proactive and taking all of the necessary precautions. This just goes to show that you never know, and there are a lot of people walking around out there in the same situation.

“No matter how healthy we think we are, no one can be careful enough when it comes to our health, so everyone needs to go get checked out.”

Wallace and JGL Racing didn’t have to look far for his replacement in the No. 26 Toyota: Kenny Wallace will replace his older brother behind the wheel.

Kenny Wallace, 51, will join JGL teammates JJ Yeley (No. 28 Toyota) and Eric McClure (No. 24 Toyota) In the race.

Kenny and Mike Wallace are brothers of NASCAR Hall of Famer Rusty Wallace.

Mike Wallace drove the No. 26 in the Xfinity Series season-opening race at Daytona International Speedway in February. He started 16th and finished 36th.

Mike Wallace hopes to travel to Talladega to watch his brother “and root him and the JGL Racing team on.”

The elder Wallace said there’s no timetable for his return to racing, only that “I am focused on getting back to full strength and returning to the driver’s seat in the near future.”

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