Wallace Jr. claims historic result at Martinsville
October 26, 2013, Chris Knight, Special to the NASCAR Wire Service, NASCAR.com
RELATED: Dillon, Harvick have war of words
MARTINSVILLE, Va. -- Darrell Wallace Jr. capped a dominant day at Martinsville Speedway with a historic result. The Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender won the Kroger 200, becoming the first African-American driver to find Victory Lane in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.
With the win, Wallace Jr. also becomes the first African-American driver to win a NASCAR national touring series event since Wendell Scott won in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series on Dec. 1, 1963.
"This (win) means everything," a jubilant Wallace Jr. said "This is an emotional win for me, especially doing it in Wendell Scott's backyard. I love coming here to Martinsville, it's always good to me. It finally paid off. I think it's my third trip here. I love coming here, the fans are great here and we always put on great races. I had to do some muscling there at the end and get around Ty (Dillon) and keep away from (Kevin) Harvick, so we dodged a few bullets in the race and this is awesome.
"I had so much confidence coming into this race, and I told my guys that I did, and I told everybody that asked if I was going to win I said, 'Hell yeah' every time."
The NASCAR Drive for Diversity graduate Wallace Jr. took the top spot for the first time of the afternoon Lap 10. All told, he led 96 of 200 laps.
Wallace took the lead for the third and final time of the day on Lap 151 and never relinquished, taking the checkered flag in his 19th career start holding off Brendan Gaughan and Jeb Burton to collect Toyota’s 11th NCWTS win of the season.
While the Kyle Busch Motorsports driver was celebrating his triumph, tempers were flaring in the garage following a late-race tangle between Ty Dillon and Kevin Harvick. A bump from Dillon sent Harvick around and subsequently collected series points leader Matt Crafton. Harvick and Dillon hit each other's trucks while driving to pit road under caution. Once they entered pit road, Harvick stopped in Dillon’s pit stall to voice his displeasure.
From there, chaos ensued as crew members for the Richard Childress Racing stables fired back with words of frustration, and also a sledge hammer directed at the No. 14 Anderson's Maple Syrup Chevrolet Silverado.
Harvick would pull his machine behind the wall and be done for the day, while Dillon continued on to finish 22nd.
Ben Kennedy, in just his fourth NCWTS race for Turner Scott Motorsports, finished fourth with Ryan Blaney recovering from an early spin to finish fifth.
Denny Hamlin, the Keystone Light Pole sitter, recovered from a spin to bounce back to sixth, German Quiroga Jr. was seventh, Johnny Sauter eighth, Scott Riggs ninth and James Buescher comprised the remainder of the top 10.
Crafton holds a 51-point lead on James Buescher entering the final stretch. Dillon is third (-61), Burton fourth (-68) and Sauter in fifth (-82).
Just three races remain on the 2013 Truck Series calendar. Next up is a return trip to the Lone Star State for some Friday night racing at Texas Motor Speedway.