This was not the weekend to bet against Darrell Wallace, Jr. and his Kyle Busch Motorsports team. Wallace, the only African-American driver in NASCAR racing on a full-time basis, had a special paint scheme to honor the selection of Wendell Scott, NASCAR’s only African-American driver to win a race in the Sprint Cup Series, into the NASCAR Hall of Fame. To carry out that legacy and honor of Wendell, Wallace was determined to win Saturday’s Kroger 200 from the Martinsville Speedway; and that’s exactly what he did.
Wallace started on the pole, led 97 laps, and outpaced second place Timothy Peters to capture his third Camping World Truck Series win of the season, and fourth of his career. Following behind Peters to round out the top-5 finishers was Matt Crafton, Erik Jones, and Ryan Blaney.
“This is a touch sweeter having the tribute truck — the No. 34 Wendell Scott Hall of Fame inductee on our Toyota Tundra — you couldn’t ask for a better weekend. I continue to say that. Qualified on the pole, had a great clean race for the most part and we were able to come away with another clock. Having the Wendell Scott family here, having my family here, having my Mom here, my girlfriend here and getting them their first win — this is special. Special for myself, my family, my team, sponsors and everybody involved. The whole sport of NASCAR — this is a big moment and excited to see what the future holds,” commented Wallace from victory lane.
Some young guns did not make many friends out on the track during the race. Gray Gaulding, Cole Custer, and Brandon Jones each had their share of run-ins with other drivers. All three were fast, but were unable to pull it all together. Gaulding managed a 14th place finish despite spinning a few times. Custer first got into Gaulding and then Joey Coulter, suffering damage in both incidents and finishing 29th.
Jones ruffled some feathers, but he was an innocent victim of the race’s biggest accident. On lap 152, John Wes Townley was racing against Tyler Reddick heading into turn one. Thinking he was clear, Townley went low, but Reddick’s truck was there and he did not back off. The result was Townley being spun into Jones’ truck and then hard into the outside wall. NASCAR had to display the red flag for over ten minutes to clean up the mess. The aftermath is above courtesy of Steven Wilson of SpeedwayDigest.com.
Tempers flared at the end of the race when Peters made his way past Johnny Sauter. Peters got into Sauter’s truck for the old “bump and run,” which allowed Peters to get into second place, but Sauter dropped to seventh when it was all said and done. After the race, Sauter stopped directly behind Peters’ truck on pit road, got out of the truck and looked to have a few works with Peters. Crews and NASCAR officials got between the two before anything substantial could happen besides name calling.
On the strength of this third place finish, Crafton continues to lead the driver standings by 18 over Blaney. Wallace closed the gap with the win, he’s 22 points behind going into the final three races of the season.
|1||1||34||Darrell Wallace Jr||2015 NASCAR HOF Inductee Wendell Scott||Toyota||200||$38,195||Running||97||48|
|2||2||17||Timothy Peters||Red Horse Racing||Toyota||200||$23,860||Running||0||42|
|3||3||88||Matt Crafton||Ideal Door/Menards||Toyota||200||$18,376||Running||24||42|
|5||5||29||Ryan Blaney||Cooper Standard||Ford||200||$12,050||Running||17||40|
|6||10||19||Tyler Reddick||Broken Bow Records||Ford||200||$11,575||Running||0||38|
|7||7||98||Johnny Sauter||Smokey Mountain / Curb Records||Toyota||200||$10,425||Running||41||38|
|9||12||32||Alex Guenette||Motos Illimitées-DLGL||Chevrolet||200||$10,325||Running||0||35|
|10||8||77||German Quiroga Jr||Otter Box||Toyota||200||$11,550||Running||0||34|
|11||22||75||Caleb Holman||Food Country USA / Gain Flings||Chevrolet||200||$7,975||Running||0||33|
|12||9||13||Jeb Burton||Estes-Carolina Nut Company||Toyota||200||$10,100||Running||0||32|
|13||14||8||John Hunter Nemechek||SWM Gun Runner||Toyota||200||$10,050||Running||0||31|
|14||6||20||Gray Gaulding||Gemini Southern/Krispy Kreme||Chevrolet||200||$10,000||Running||0||30|
|15||23||15||Mason Mingus||811 Call Before You Dig||Chevrolet||200||$8,475||Running||0||29|
|19||24||2||Tyler Young||Randco / Young’s Building Systems||Chevrolet||200||$9,675||Running||0||25|
|20||32||7||Enrique Contreras III||TBA||Chevrolet||200||$10,250||Running||0||24|
|23||33||82||Cody Erickson||Performance Auto||Ford||199||$7,300||Running||0||21|
|24||27||86||Brandon Brown||Willmar Concrete Pumping||Chevrolet||198||$7,275||Running||0||20|
|25||34||6||Norm Benning||“Re-elect Tom Corbett||Chevrolet||196||$7,375||Running||0||19|
|26||19||92||Austin Hill||BTS Tire / Goodyear Fleet HQ||Ford||195||$7,200||Running||21||19|
|28||35||10||Jennifer Jo Cobb||Driven2Honor.org||RAM||192||$7,100||Running||0||16|
|29||4||0||Cole Custer||Haas Automation||Chevrolet||184||$7,050||Accident||0||15|
|30||11||21||Joey Coulter||Allegiant Travel||Chevrolet||184||$7,525||Running||0||14|
|33||18||5||John Wes Townley||Zaxby’s||Toyota||150||$6,525||Accident||0||11|
|34||31||80||Jody Knowles||Clayton Signs, Inc.||Ford||124||$6,475||Transmission||0||10|
|35||30||63||Justin Jennings||Mittler Bros Machine & Tool||Chevrolet||100||$6,445||Brakes||0||9|