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Where are they now? Mike Wallace retains ties to racing

With a father and two brothers involved in racing, it was almost a given that Mike Wallace would jump into the sport.

Russ Wallace competed on tracks in the Midwest, and his sons Rusty, Kenny and Mike followed his tire tracks. All three brothers reached NASCAR national-series racing and enjoyed different levels of success.

Mike, now 63, won four times in the Xfinity Series and five times in the Camping World Truck Series. He didn’t reach victory lane in the Cup Series.

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Wallace still resides in Concord, North Carolina, where he moved from the St. Louis area to pursue a NASCAR career. He ran a few short-track races this year, largely for fun, and keeps his hand in NASCAR circles with a weekly podcast, “Fast Car 2 NASCAR with Mike Wallace.”

Wallace said he also is enjoying spending much more time with his family.

“I’m having fun being the proud grandpa of two with a third on the way,” he told NBC Sports. “I’m living the family life that I probably didn’t live for 30 years racing. I’ve had a bunch of time with the kids.”

Wallace and other family members have a busy schedule attending concerts, he said, including recent shows by Elton John, Lady Gaga and Michael Buble.

“It’s a fun life,” he said. “The whole family lives within five miles of each other, and there’s always something going on.”

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One of Wallace’s biggest wins came at the age of 52. He won a Truck race at Talladega in 2011, having been offered a ride in one of Kevin Harvick’s trucks early in race week. He drafted with teammate Ron Hornaday over the closing miles.

“It was an incredibly executed race week,” Wallace said. “Then you could talk back and forth and do push drafting, and Ron and I worked the plan. It was so exciting to win a race. My wife and I were supposed to go on vacation that week. She wanted to go to some exotic island, and in victory lane I told her, ‘Hey, I took you to the infield at Talladega.’ ”

That race trophy still sits on a dresser at Wallace’s house. “We came home that Saturday night, and my daughter and son-in-law had a little victory party for us,” he said. “Mom and Dad were there, and I remember my dad being so excited.”

After success on short tracks in the Midwest, Wallace took what he called “a big leap of faith” and moved to North Carolina to chase NASCAR.

“As everybody knows, I didn’t have a career that matched up to Rusty’s,” he said. “I still won some major races, and I can honestly say I had a great time. There were up-and-down struggles along the way with performance. I wasn’t as popular as either one of my brothers, but I won some nice races in ARCA and Busch and Truck and had some nice competitive finishes in the Cup Series and got to do it for 25 years. It was a nice NASCAR career for a kid born and raised in St. Louis racing dirt cars and on local asphalt.”