Darrell Wallace Jr. finally put a whole race together to get his first win in the Camping World Truck Series. The win was monumental on a few fronts, the first and foremost being the fact Wallace is now the second African-American driver to win a race in one of the top-3 NASCAR divisions.
He joins Wendell Scott in that exclusive club. Scott won in 1964 at Speedway Park in Jacksonville, Fl. The issue with that is he wasn’t originally declared the winner. Buck Baker was given the trophy in victory lane only to have it shifted to Scott a few days later. Saturday in victory lane the moment was all Wallace’s who was very emotional.
“Oh my god. This is — I don’t know man, I’m speechless right now. God, I couldn’t even hold it together coming off (turn) four with the checkered. I still can’t. I had so much confidence coming into this race and I told my guys that I didand I told everybody that asked if I was going to win I said, ‘Hell yeah’ every time. So, it was no maybe we’re going totry, this one was for sure and we capitalized. Big thanks to Toyota Care, Coke, Camping World, Good Sam, everybody involved. Oakley. This means a lot. We still got three more to go get and now we have the big momentum on our side,” Wallace said in victory lane.
The second piece to take from this is the great timing for Wallace and his team. Coming into the weekend layoffs began at Kyle Busch Motorsports, whom Wallace drives for. While odds are he isn’t quite in trouble of not returning next season, this win can help guarantee that. Sponsorship is the biggest question mark with the KBM team, and showing that he can close a race and win can go very far in recruiting new sponsorship for the 2014 season.
For Wallace himself it has to put to rest a lot of doubt he might have been having in himself. Time and time again he has been fast, but always something came up to ruin his day. Be it an accident, mechanical failure, or just an error on his part, he has been snake bitten all year long.
Now he can cross “get first win” off of his to do list and now it can shift to “get second win.” He has the talent and the tools, let’s see if this gives him the confidence to back it up in Texas this weekend.