Set to Make First NNS Start of 2014 at Talladega Superspeedway
Darrell Wallace, Jr. is set to make his first NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) start of the 2014 season at Talladega Superspeedway on Saturday, May 3, behind the wheel of the No. 20 ToyotaCare Toyota Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR). The start will mark the 20-year-old’s fifth-career start in the series.
“We’re excited to be able to provide this opportunity for Darrell in Talladega,” said J.D. Gibbs, president of Joe Gibbs Racing. “He has been doing a great job in the truck series with his KBM team and we want to make sure he continues to gain experience in our Nationwide Series cars as well.”
In his previous four starts in the Nationwide Series, Wallace earned one pole (Dover International Speedway) and three top-10 finishes in 2011. His worst finish in those four starts is 12th at Dover after contact on the last restart late in the race took him out of contention for a top finish.
“It’s good to be back behind the wheel of a Toyota Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing in the Nationwide Series,” said Wallace. “I’m excited to work with Kevin Kidd and all the guys on this Nationwide Series team. I know they have a good Toyota Camry and Matt (Kenseth) has been running it all season long and posted good finishes. Hopefully we can go out there, stay out of harm’s way and add to that by posting a good, strong finish at Talladega for the No. 20 ToyotaCare team.”
Wallace currently competes full time in the No. 54 Toyota Tundra for Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM) where after two races this season, he has one second-place finish and is eighth in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) point standings.
In his only start at Talladega Superspeedway during the 2013 NCWTS season, Wallace started the race in his No. 54 Toyota Tundra from the 10th position and was poised for a solid finish before being caught in the ‘Big One’ on the final lap exiting turn four. Wallace took the white flag from the fifth position, but once the dust settled from the last lap incident, he was credited with a 17th-place finish.
Wallace joins Matt Kenseth and Daniel Suarez, who is set to make his series debut at Richmond International Raceway on April 25, as drivers of the No. 20 JGR Toyota in the NASCAR Nationwide Series.
Will Drive No. 20 Silent Circle/Telcel Toyota at Richmond International Raceway on April 25
Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) announces today that Daniel Suarez will make his NASCAR Nationwide Series debut at Richmond International Raceway on Friday, April 25 in the No. 20 Silent Circle/Telcel Toyota.
Suarez is a part of the NASCAR Drive 4 Diversity program, as well as an alumnus of the NASCAR Next program. He is currently running a full season in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East for Revolution Racing and the NASCAR Toyota Series in Mexico. He opened this season with wins at New Smyrna Speedway (FL.) and Daytona International Speedway in February, and is currently second in points following the first four races of the 2014 NASCAR K&N Series East season. He also has two wins in the first three races of the 2014 NASCAR Toyota Series season and currently leads the point standings.
“I’m excited for the opportunity to make my NASCAR Nationwide Series debut,” said Suarez. “I want to thank Telcel and Silent Circle for believing in me and making this a reality. I can’t wait for Friday night in Richmond.”
Suarez made his K&N Pro Series debut in 2011 competing in seven of 12 races while also competing full time in the NASCAR Toyota Series. He returned to the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East to run nine of 12 races in 2012. His first East Series’ win came last season at Columbus Motor Speedway (Columbus, Ohio) and he went on to finish the 2013 season with six top-five and nine top-10 finishes in 14 races to earn third place in the final point standings.
While making his mark on the NASCAR K&N East Series, Suarez continued to run full time in the NASCAR Toyota Series in Mexico after earning Rookie of the Year honors in 2010 with one top-five and four to-10 finishes. During the 2011 season, Suarez earned seven top-10 finishes to secure ninth place in the final point standings. He finished the 2012 season third in points with two wins and topped his success the next season finishing second in the final point standings with three wins.
On the heels of his success, Suarez was named one of the NASCAR drivers ‘25 and under’ to watch in 2013 by Foxsports.com.
“Daniel is certainly someone that has proven to have a lot of talent and we are thrilled this was able to come together and allow him to make his debut at Richmond,” said J.D. Gibbs. “I think it’s exciting when you look at the young talent our sport has right now and we certainly feel that Daniel is going to be part of the future for NASCAR.”
It will be a busy weekend for Suarez who will pull double duty at Richmond International Raceway competing in the K&N Pro Series East race immediately following the Nationwide Series race on Friday night. He will then drive back to Charlotte to board a plane to Monterrey, Mexico to compete in the NASCAR Toyota Series, hoping to make practice on Saturday afternoon before competing in the race on Sunday afternoon.
Matt Kenseth led Joe Gibbs Racing with a fourth-place finish in tonight’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Bojangles’ Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway. Kyle Busch battled to a sixth-place finish, while a late pit road speeding penalty kept Denny Hamlin from joining his teammates in the top ten and he came home in 19th.