Wallace Jr. 'talking full-time Nationwide' in 2015
June 26, 2014, Staff report, NASCAR.com
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Before Darrell Wallace Jr. goes for his second consecutive NASCAR Camping World Truck Series win in the UNOH 225 at Kentucky Speedway (Thursday, 8 p.m. ET, FOX Sports 1), he announced he'll run the No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota in the NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Daytona International Speedway next Friday night.
The race, his second of the season and sixth career Nationwide start, could be a step toward a full-time ride in the series in 2015, Wallace Jr. told SiriusXM NASCAR Radio on Thursday morning.
"Next year, we're talking about full-time Nationwide, and that'd be great," Wallace Jr. said. "If not, maybe another year in the Truck Series. But the next two to three years, definitely full-time in Nationwide. Maybe getting a start in Cup, but Kentucky's on my mind and we're ready to roll."
The NASCAR Drive for Diversity graduate said that his No. 20 ride at Daytona will be sponsored by Coca-Cola and kick off the company's "Share a Coke" campaign.
"Coca-Cola's taken iconic names from across the nation and changed out their logos on the bottle to put your name on there," Wallace Jr. said. "That's really neat so you never know. If you pick up a bottle that says 'Share a Coke with Bubba,' then you think of me."
Wallace Jr. hinted that Coke might be a sponsor of his Nationwide ride in 2015.
"If we can get that deal signed of being full-time Nationwide, you never know, we could be sharing a Coke at the end," Wallace Jr. said.
The first African-American driver to win a national series race in 50 years when he went to Victory Lane last fall after winning a Camping World Truck Series race at Martinsville Speedway, Wallace won on another short track at Gateway Motorsports Park two weekends ago. He will go for his third career Truck win at Kentucky, a 1.5-mile track. He's struggled on tracks of that size this season, and he noted it's important for him to get better at those facilities before moving up.
"I just have to finish up this season strong," Wallace Jr. said. "Go to these mile-and-a-halfs and learn as much as I can and be ready for (full-time in Nationwide). But definitely, it's been in the talks, and we're still working on that. That's what I'm hoping for, but I'm also enjoying the time in the Truck Series, trying to learn everything and be ready for the next step."
Watch Wallace's news conference live on NASCAR.com's Press Pass today at 2 p.m. ET.