ROSSBURG, Ohio (June 4) — NASCAR superstar Kenny Wallace drove his Late Model Stock Car to a strong fourth-place finish Wednesday night at the annual Prelude to the Dream charity race at Eldora Speedway. The 2005 Prelude champion started 10th in the field of 25 racing all-stars and managed to climb six spots during the 25-lap race around the famous half-mile dirt oval.

“Now that was fun,” an exuberant Wallace said when he climbed out of his racecar. “There was some serious racing going on out there. We run for fun and to raise money for charity but these guys turn into monsters when the race starts. I’m worn out.

“Someone said we made the biggest move up of the night so I’m real happy to hear that. We had Jeg Coughlin and Woody Woodruff from JEGS up there rooting for us. You know, Jeg is a four-time world champion in drag racing so I was getting some tips from him before the race. I told him next year he’s racing with us, not watching.”

Former NASCAR champion Tony Stewart, who owns the track and hosts the event, managed to win the race as well as one of the earlier time trial heats. Wallace came in second to Stewart in the warm-up heat after qualifying 17th with a 16.245-second lap in his 800-horsepower racer.

In between Stewart and Wallace in the finishing order were fellow NASCAR racers Robby Gordon and Clint Bowyer. Denny Hamlin came in fifth, followed by Matt Kenseth, Kevin Harvick, Jimmie Johnson, Kenny Schrader, and Kyle Busch, who rounded out the top 10.

“I can’t tell you how much of a rush it is to see 25,000 crazy fans all smushed in here, standing-room-only, yelling their heads off,” Wallace said. “They motivate you to race as hard as you can. I love ’em all, and I’m so proud to be a part of this deal so we can help out some of these beautiful children that need our help.”

The Prelude to the Dream uses gate receipts and money raised from the HBO pay-per-view coverage of the race to raise money for the Victory Junction Gang Camp II and the Tony Stewart Foundation. Organizers were hoping to raise $1 million this year.

“That’s what it’s all about,” Wallace said. “The kids are why we’re here.”

Final order: 1. Tony Stewart 2. Robby Gordon 3. Clint Bowyer 4. Kenny Wallace 5. Denny Hamlin 6. Matt Kenseth 7. Kevin Harvick 8. Jimmie Johnson 9. Kenny Schrader 10. Kyle Busch 11. David Reutimann 12. Ryan Newman 13. Red Farmer 14. Jeff Gordon 15. Cruz Pedregon 16. Ray Evernham 17. Ron Capps 18. Carl Edwards 19. Aric Almirola 20. Dave Blaney 21. JJ Yeley 22. Kasey Kahne 23. Bobby Labonte 24. Mark Martin 25. Bill Elliott

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