It was a day of firsts for Xfinity Series rookie Darrell Wallace Jr., in the Hisense 300 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
The Roush Fenway Racing driver had never raced on the 1.5-mile track in an Xfinity car before this weekend, but that didn’t keep him from earning a season-best performance.
After qualifying on the front row in second, Wallace would find that was the highest position he would manage throughout the day as Austin Dillon rolled to a win. But the lowest he would race was fifth, where he finished for his first career-top five in his 11th Xfinity start.
“It was a good run,” Wallace said. “We just need a little bit more. Our pit stops need some work, but we’ll build off of it and take this top five into Dover and really have some fun next week.”
Wallace ran in second twice in the race, with the longest stretch coming between Laps 130 and 160. However, his No. 6 Cheez-It Ford Mustang was never able to get closer than a half-second off of Dillon’s bumper before the Richard Childress Racing car sped away.
“The clean air here was a big deal, so that’s the first time I really felt it,” Wallace said. “Clean air is your best friend in these races, so we’ll build off of this. It’s a good top-five, a good momentum boost for our team. We needed this, so sixth, fifth, first sounds good for the next one.”
Entering Saturday, Wallace’s best finish was sixth in last week’s race at Iowa Speedway and at Texas Motor Speedway in April.
Wallace is currently fourth in the driver points standing, 30 points behind leader Chris Buescher.