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: