Best of Blount
Tuesday, Nov. 1 at 6:30 p.m.
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Get ready to rev up your engine with Rusty Wallace, a member of NASCAR’s Hall of Fame, as he takes the pole position as the guest speaker for the Blount Partnership’s Best of Blount Awards, Nov. 1 at 6:30 p.m., at the Clayton Center for the Arts on the Maryville College campus.
The Best of Blount Awards focus on the Blount County community as a whole rather than only on the business sector. It celebrates those individuals and businesses that give their time and resources to make this area an outstanding place to live and work.
Awards will be given for Philanthropist of the Year, Community Impact Award, Bright Future Award, Business of the Year and the Tourism Award.
K12, Inc. | Realty Executive Associates | First Tennessee Bank | Alcoa Inc. | Blount Memorial Hospital | Maryville College
Russell William Wallace Jr., the 1989 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion, followed his father Russ Wallace onto the race track – a path taken as well by brothers Mike and Kenny. Rusty Wallace competed at weekly tracks in Missouri before moving to Midwest-based touring series in which he was identified as a racing star of the future.
He was the U.S. Auto Club’s 1979 rookie of the year finishing third in points to champion A.J. Foyt. In 1983, he won the American Speed Association title competing against NASCAR Sprint Cup champion-to-be Alan Kulwicki and Mark Martin.
Wallace’s first NASCAR Sprint Cup race resulted in his first top-five finish: second at Atlanta Motor Speedway in 1980 driving for Roger Penske. He came to the series full-time in 1984 and won rookie of the year honors driving Cliff Stewart’s Pontiacs. Moving to drag racer Raymond Beadle’s Blue Max Racing in 1986, Wallace won his first of 55 races, capturing the checkered flag at Bristol Motor Speedway. His 55 victories rank tied for eighth all time. He was especially adept on the circuit’s short tracks winning 25 times at Bristol, Martinsville, North Wilkesboro and Richmond.
Wallace remained with Beadle through the 1990 season, winning the 1989 championship by a 12-point margin over Dale Earnhardt. Wallace won 18 times with Blue Max Racing, including road races at Infineon, Riverside and Watkins Glen.
Although failing to win another championship, Wallace’s most successful seasons were spent behind the wheel of Penske Racing Fords and Pontiacs from 1991 through his retirement in 2005. He won 37 times in Roger Penske’s cars finishing second in the points in 1993, the best of 11 top-10 championship rankings with the organization. Wallace currently is an ESPN NASCAR analyst.
2016 Best of Blount Awards Winners
Tourism Award - Metropolitan Knoxville Authority
Bright Future Award - The Golden Age 1942
Large Business of the Year - Newell Brands
Small Business of the Year - Blount County Eye Center
Community Impact Award - Pregnancy Resource Center
Philanthropist of the Year - Jack Campbell
2015 Best of Blount Awards Winners
Tourism Award - Maryville-Alcoa-Blount County Parks & Recreation Commission
Bright Future Award - Tony Saddy, Get Fit Maryville
Large Business of the Year - DENSO
Small Business of the Year - MK Russell and Abbott
Community Impact Award - Blount County Community Action Agency - Meals on Wheels
Philanthropist of the Year - Tom Hatcher, Blount County Clerk
2014 Best of Blount Awards Winners
Tourism Award - Smoky Mountain Harley-Davidson
Bright Future Award - LeConte Realty
Large Business of the Year - Vanquish Worldwide
Small Business of the Year - Ingram, Overholt and Bean, P.C.
Community Impact Award - Second Harvest Food Bank of East Tennessee
Philanthropist of the Year - Eric Barton, president and CEO of Vanquish Worldwide
2013 Business Excellence Awards Winners
Impact Award - Blount County Health Initiative
Tourism Award - Blackberry Farm
Civic Service Organization of the Year - Maryville Lions Club
Bright Future Award - Corey Pabst, Computer Catering
Non-Profit Organization of the Year - Family Promise of Blount County
Innovation Award - Hickory Construction
Minority/Woman Owned Business of the Year - Leanne Moe-McQueen, Studio 212
Volunteer of the Year - Sharon Hannum
New Business of the Year - Roost
Above & Beyond Award - Leon Williams Contractors
Creative Marketing Tourism Award - Clayton Center for the Arts
New Interactive Attraction Tourism Award - CLIMBWorks
Entrepreneur of the Year - John Clark, Vienna Coffee House
Small Business of the Year - Trillium Cove Home & Garden Shop
Medium Business of the Year - Anderson Lumber Co.
Large Business of the Year - Alcoa Inc.
Philanthropist of the Year - Brenda Sellers