Darrell Wallace Jr.

NASCAR America: Bubba Wallace can’t wait to get started in 2018 (video)

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Even though it has not been the year he had hoped, Darrell “Bubba” Wallace Jr. has taken a lot of positives from the 2017 season.

And that will only help him when he begins his first full season in the NASCAR Cup series in 2018, driving the No. 43 for NASCAR Hall of Famer Richard Petty.

Wallace took time to talk about his new ride on Tuesday’s NASCAR America. He also talked about close friends Ryan Blaney and Chase Elliott and their respective bids to contend for the Cup title this season.

“I think those guys kind of hold it in a little bit more,” Wallace said of his friends’ emotions. “I think Chase handled it a lot better than I would. It’s just circumstances that these playoff races produce. That’s what the fans and the sport needs. The fans love it and they love the attitude. They love the emotions. Who knows what’s going to happen at Texas if anything does happen.”

As for some of the lessons he learned during the time he’s not raced this season, Wallace said it’s just another thing to appreciate and learn from: “Looking back on how far you’ve come and what all you’ve done in your lifetime and career. It really shapes who you’re going to be, knowing I can go out there and win this race. … I felt like a Cup veteran when I was in the Truck race. It was a different and weird feeling.”

Check out the whole interview with Wallace in the video above.

 

Brandon Jones fastest in first Xfinity practice in Chicago

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Richard Childress Racing’s Brandon Jones was fastest in the first Xfinity Series practice session at Chicagoland Speedway.

Jones and his No. 33 Chevrolet posted a top speed of 174.413 mph around the 1.5-mile track.

Following him in the top five were Erik Jones (173.639), Matt Tifft (173.477), Ryan Blaney (173.383) and Brendan Gaughan (172.734).

Darrell Wallace Jr., making his first Xfinity start since June, was 20th in the No. 98 Ford at 169.609 mph.

Tifft recorded the most laps in the session with 30.

Five drivers made runs 10 laps or longer. Jones had the best 10-lap average at 169.276 mph. Gaughan followed him at 168.564 mph.

Click here for the practice report.

Darrell Wallace Jr. returns to Xfinity Series for Sept. 16 Chicagoland race

Richard Petty Motorsports
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After missing the last 12 races, Darrell Wallace Jr. will return to the Xfinity Series for the Sept. 16 race at Chicagoland Speedway.

Richard Petty Motorsports and Biagi DenBeste Racing announced Thursday the 23-year-old driver will pilot the latter team’s No. 98 Nickelodeon Slime Ford in the race.

It will be Wallace’s first Xfinity race since the June 10 event at Pocono Raceway. After that race, Roush Fenway Racing closed down operations on the No. 6 car Wallace had driven since 2015.

Wallace then drove Richard Petty Motorsports’ No. 43 car in four Cup races in substitution of the injured Aric Almirola.

Since his last Cup race at Kentucky Speedway in July, Wallace competed in and won the Camping World Truck Series race at Michigan International Speedway on Aug. 12.

“I’m really glad to get back behind the wheel of a race car,” Wallace said in a press release. “Chicago has always been a decent track for me where I’ve had some good finishes. I’m excited to get back in the Xfinity Series in a Ford Mustang. With the history with Biagi DenBeste Racing and RPM, we should have some good speed. It’s really cool to be paired with Nickelodeon. We’ve formed a great relationship over the past three years, and we’re able to do these one-off races to attract the youth to the sport. With such a cool looking car this weekend, I think we’ll do just that.”

Wallace’s paint scheme will be one of six at Chicago that will be inspired by Nickelodeon and its “Tales of the Turtle” TV show.

Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series
  • Matt DiBenedetto will carry the “Samurai” paint scheme on his Go Fas Racing Ford.
  • Jeffrey Earnhardt will have “BeBop” and “Rocksteady” on his Circle Sport Chevy.
Xfinity Series
  • Bubba Wallace will showcase “Nickelodeon Slime” on his Biagi DenBeste Racing and Richard Petty Motorsports Ford.
  • Matt Tifft will have “Lone Rat and Cub” on his Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota.
Camping World Truck Series

Bubba Wallace roars to win in first Truck race since 2014 at Michigan

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Making his first start in a NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race since 2014, Darrell “Bubba” Wallace Jr. didn’t forget how to win.

Wallace held off late charges by Austin Cindric, Christopher Bell and Kyle Busch to win Saturday’s LTI Printing 200 at Michigan International Speedway.

Whether Saturday’s win will bring Wallace a regular ride in any of NASCAR’s three series remains to be seen.

He lost his Xfinity Series ride earlier this year after 12 races due to lack of sponsorship, then filled in for Aric Almirola in four Cup races while Almirola healed from crash injuries, and had not raced since mid-July until Saturday’s event.

MORE: Results from Saturday’s Truck race at Michigan

MORE: Christopher Bell remains first in Truck Series after Michigan

Wallace earned five wins in 44 Truck races in 2013 and 2014 for Kyle Busch Motorsports. Saturday’s win was his second consecutive Truck win, as he won the season finale in 2014.

“It’s been so long since I’ve been in victory lane,” Wallace told Fox Sports 1. “This is a sweet victory, so I’ll take it and cherish it, for sure.”

Wallace is the seventh different driver to compete in the Matthew Miller-owned No. 99 MDM Motorsports Chevrolet this season. He took the lead for the first time in the race with 11 laps to go and held on to take the checkered flag in the 100-lap event.

Wallace had to bounce back from a penalty on Lap 53 when a crewman prematurely jumped off the wall before a pit stop.

Bell finished second. He was followed by Busch, Ryan Truex and Cindric.

“That was a lot of fun,” Bell said. “That’s awesome for Bubba, man. It’s cool to see him come back and win like that.”

STAGE WINNERS: Kyle Busch won both Stage 1 and Stage 2. This marks the fourth time this season that Busch has swept the first two stages in a race. He has nine stage wins this year.

WHO ELSE HAD A GOOD RACE: Austin Cindric appeared as if he would win, but when he and Christopher Bell got side-by-side late in the race, Darrell Wallace Jr. went low to pass both and held on for victory.

WHO HAD A BAD RACE: Both John Hunter Nemechek (finished 29th) and Cody Coughlin (21st) were involved in wrecks that ended their days. … Johnny Sauter also had a rough day, finishing an uncharacteristic 18th.

NOTABLE: NASCAR announced that Grant Enfinger‘s truck failed heights after the race. Enfinger finished eighth.

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “At least Bubba doesn’t take a playoff spot away.” – Fifth-place finisher Austin Cindric, who is still hoping to make the Truck playoffs.

WHAT’S NEXT: Teams race Wednesday, August 16, in the UNOH 200 at Bristol Motor Speedway.

Wallace was congratulated by a number of fellow drivers and fans on social media after the race:

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Bubba Wallace to compete in Saturday’s Truck race at Michigan

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Bubba’s back.

Darrell “Bubba” Wallace Jr. will be back behind the wheel this weekend, competing in this Saturday’s LTI Printing 200 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Michigan International Speedway.

Wallace made the announcement Tuesday afternoon during a session on Facebook Live that he’ll drive the No. 99 Chevrolet for team owner Matthew Miller.

The bearded Wallace will be sponsored by Maestro’s Classic, a “beard butter” for facial grooming.

“It’s a great new company coming to the sport,” Wallace said. “Pretty excited about that. We’ve been working really hard on some projects and we were able to land this one with some great people involved. Pretty pumped about this one.”

Wallace, 23, will be making his first race start since competing in last month’s Cup race at Kentucky Speedway in place of the injured Aric Almirola.

Wallace spent the 2013 and 2014 seasons in a Truck full-time, compiling five wins, 14 top-fives and 26 top-10s (plus 3 poles) in 44 starts.

During his four-race fill-in role for Almirola and Richard Petty Motorsports, Wallace had three top-20 finishes, including a best showing of 11th in his final appearance in the No. 43 Ford at Kentucky.

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