Darrell Wallace, Jr. Wins Inaugural Drivin’ for Linemen 200 at Gateway Motorsports Park
RACE: Drivin’ for Linemen 200
TRACK: Gateway Motorsports Park
DRIVER: Darrell Wallace, Jr.
TRUCK: No. 54 Made In America Toyota Tundra
LAPS LED: 3 Times for 85 Laps
POINTS POSITION: 8th (43 points out of 1st)
- Darrell Wallace, Jr. and the No. 54 Made In America Toyota Tundra team earned their first win of the 2014 season Saturday night under the lights at Gateway Motorsports Park in the inaugural Drivin’ for Linemen 200.
- Starting the race from the second position behind rookie Cole Custer, Wallace quickly took the lead on lap one and with a strong Toyota Tundra, led the next 62 laps before making a green-flag pit stop on lap 63. Giving up the lead to make a scheduled stop, Wallace entered pit road for a routine stop, but issues on pit road extended the stop and dropped the team through the field and ultimately, one lap down to the leaders. The caution was displayed immediately after Wallace’s pit stop for an on-track incident and the team made the decision to take the wave around and return to the lead lap. Wallace restarted the race on lap 72 from the 12th position.
- Focused on returning to the front of the field, Wallace began picking off one truck at a time to move back into the top 10 on lap 72 and cracked the top five again on lap 87.
- The No. 54 team made their final stop of the race under the lap 122 caution, bringing Wallace to pit road from the fourth position for four fresh tires, fuel and another round of adjustments. With a solid stop by the crew, Wallace gained several spots to restart the race on lap 133 from the second position.
- Wasting no time, Wallace regained the lead on lap 134 with teammate Erik Jones in a close second. Wallace battled through two more cautions and tight three-wide racing to take the lead for a final time on lap 158 to earn his second-career NASCAR Camping World Truck Series win and lead a race-high 85 laps.
- The 20-year-old Wallace was followed to the checkered flag by German Quiroga, Timothy Peters, Johnny Sauter and Ron Hornaday, Jr.
- The win also marked a milestone for Truck Chief Chris Showalter who earned his 30th-career NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) win and extends his streak of never missing a NCWTS race since the series made its debut on February 7, 1995 at Phoenix International Raceway.
Darrell Wallace, Jr.’s Post-Race Thoughts:
“That was wild at the end. Erik (Jones) and I were so fast all race. Kyle (Busch) was not in the race tonight, but he dominated all race. Huge, huge shout out to ToyotaCare, this Made In America Toyota Tundra was on a roll tonight. We got into a little trouble on our first pit stop, but a little adversity never hurts anybody and we came through. If this doesn’t make you want to go out and buy a Toyota Tundra, I don’t know what does. So proud of my guys, they worked their tail off. I was iffy about this track coming into the weekend, but that was a lot of fun. Big thanks to Toyota, ToyotaCare, Coca-Cola, Alpinestars, and everybody involved.”