Matt Wallace will race against uncle Kenny at Iowa
Mike, Matt and Chrissy Wallace set a racing first, as well Proud papa Mike Wallace was in the NASCAR XFINITY Series garage on Friday as son Matt prepares to make his national series debut in Saturday’s Lakes Region 200 (4 p.m. ET NBC Sports Network, PRN, SiriusXM). Three months after heart surgery, the elder Wallace said he'd rather be racing but watching his son step into the No. 26 JGL Racing Ford is a proud moment. RELATED: Kenny Wallace subs for brother at Talladega Wallace also proudly announced that Matt would be racing alongside brother Kenny Wallace at Iowa, which will be the last NASCAR national series race for Kenny, he announced earlier this week. And for trivia buffs, Mike Wallace points out that his family sets a new mark this weekend with Matt's XFINITY debut. Mike, Matt and Chrissy Wallace make up the first father-daughter-son team to all compete in a national series. Chrissy made two XFINITY Series starts in 2010, finishing 43rd at Daytona and 24th at Talladega. Mike has 494 XFINITY Series races under his belt, with four wins, 22 top-five finishes and 66 top 10s. He also has 197 Sprint Cup Series starts. FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Sadler, Wallace Jr. bounce back for strong showings at Atlanta
RELATED: Full race results and standings HAMPTON, Ga. -- Elliott Sadler bounced back from a setback in qualifying while Darrell Wallace Jr. battled back from his own demons. Both NASCAR XFINITY Series drivers scored top-10 finishes in Saturday's Rinnai 250 at Atlanta Motor Speedway, rebounding solidly following disappointing results a week earlier in the season-opening race at Daytona. Sadler, who started 22nd after a tire problem during qualifying Saturday morning, scored a fifth-place finish at AMS. The qualifying issue turned out to not be an issue after all for the JR Motorsports driver. He was fifth on a restart with 16 laps remaining, and quickly moved up to third, but couldn't hold off the charges of Kevin Harvick and Kyle Larson during the closing laps. "I wanted to tighten it up some so I could drive it hard there at the end, those last 15 laps, and I got them to go too far," Sadler said of his radio conversation with crew chief Kevin Meendering. "But we got beat by some of the best at this race track; I think the car was better than I was today." Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series regulars dominated the race, with Kyle Busch earning the win while Brad Keselowski, Larson and Harvick placed second, third and fourth, respectively. Sadler said he knew his car was a contender as early as Friday in practice. If there was any blame, he said, it was on his shoulders. "This is a very line-sensitive track and those guys are so good at going around the bottom, they really are," he said. "And I didn't do a good job all day of staying on the bottom to run with those guys. But I'm very proud of my team. A fifth-place finish for us here at Atlanta we're ecstatic with that." The finish vaulted Sadler to the top of the point standings a week after a crash at Daytona soured an otherwise solid opening weekend. "We've been fast both races so that's all we can ask for and we'll move on from there," he said. "We had the winning car at Daytona, we had a top-five car here today. That's very impressive coming out of the chute with all these new rules and new stuff going on for my guys to prepare my cars this way." For Wallace , the trip might not have been as far numerically -- he finished sixth after qualifying 13th – but it was no less difficult. It was a top 10 he talked himself into, he said. "It all starts with me not getting frustrated," said Wallace , driver of the No. 6 Ford for Roush Fenway Racing. "Not replaying things from last year. I was doing that. I was doing that that whole first segment. I'm like 'Stop! Stop!' I was talking to myself." Surprisingly, it took golf lessons to put the 23-year-old in the proper frame of mind. "I went and took lessons and the four things he told me to be better, I used those to kind of help me relax, although they had nothing to do with racing," Wallace said. "Really keeping a cool head, no mistakes on pit road -- I thought I was flirting with speed lines all day and didn't get busted there -- and we were able to capitalize on those last restarts. We needed it." Wallace had come away from Daytona with a 33rd-place finish. Saturday's result propelled him to 14th in points. "That's just the never-give-up attitude we've got going this year," he said of his RFR group. "Look at Ryan (Reed) last week at Daytona, spun out twice, mangled car comes back and wins it. Now we're here. "We know we need to unload a little bit better to have a better shot at winning one of these things. Just a great day for us, to keep our heads calm, to run good for Leidos. "I was fighting hard for that top five and then I burned my stuff up. Then the veteran Harvick got by me. Good day here in Atlanta; we needed it, especially to rebound after Daytona." &lt;/p&gt;
Auto Club Speedway by the numbers
BUY TICKETS: Celebrate Auto Club's 20th anniversary RELATED: Full weekend schedule Jimmie Johnson was driving a Superman car and wearing a cape the last time he saw Victory Lane at Auto Club Speedway in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series' stop there in 2016. It's appropriate since he almost owns the place. Johnson has six wins at Auto Club, spanning a decade and a half. He also has five runner-up finishes, an impressive average finishing place of 6.5 and has led 980 laps around the 2-mile circuit in Fontana, California. Roger Penske has a stake in the place as well, having been one of the architects, alongside Les "Coach" Richter. The track officially opened June 22, 1997, and it's celebrating its 20th anniversary as NASCAR returns to Fontana this weekend for Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series and XFINITY Series racing. Penske got his first Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series win at the track on April 29, 2001 with Rusty Wallace piloting the No. 2 Miller Lite Ford. Brad Keselowski put Team Penske back in Victory Lane at Auto Club Speedway in 2015. Penske's open wheel drivers also have had success at the track. Penske built a fast race track, leading to some stout stats in the speedway's lore: -- A 188.511 mph qualifying speed record set by Denny Hamlin in 2016 -- A 155.012 mph race speed record set by Jeff Gordon in 1997 Digging into the numbers a bit more: -- Hendrick Motorsports has 10 wins, the most of any team -- Ford has 11 wins at the track, and Chevrolet has 13. Kyle Busch has taken home two Auto Club 400 trophies for Toyota in back-to-back races in 2013-14. -- Farthest back in the field a winning driver started: 31st, Matt Kenseth, spring of 2006 -- Pole-sitting winners: Only one, Johnson in 2008 -- The closest margin of victory was 0.144 seconds, as Kevin Harvick edged Johnson in 2011
This Ryan Newman/Kyle Larson photo -- best pic of all time? We think so
RELATED: Read more Inside Groove " Newman takes Phoenix After Ryan Newman held off a hard-charging Kyle Larson at Phoenix Raceway to snap a 127-race winless drought on Sunday, a photo of the two began circulating on Twitter after the race -- a photo that is nearly two decades old. LOL I stold this off twitter. "Your 1-2 finish today". #ImBad . pic.twitter.com/MrOfgrTFtE — Kenny Wallace (@Kenny_Wallace) March 20, 2017 When we saw this, our faces matched that of (a really, especially) young Larson, who was a mere 7 years old when the photo was snapped in October 1999. At least Newman was of legal drinking age at just shy of 22, but Larson, man. We can't get over the fact that the skinny kid on the right, missing his two front teeth, was battling the guy on the left for a win in 2017 -- the third consecutive week he's finished second. While Larson finished runner-up for the third consecutive race, we all came away winners after this photo popped up in our timelines. &amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;<span _rtetemp="spchk" style="background-color: #ffffaa;" _rtespchksugg="Lt"alt"ult"flt"let"lit"lat"lot"ltd"t">am</span>p;lt;/p&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;
Drivers react to Kyle Busch, Joey Logano fight
Kyle Busch and Joey Logano mixed it up on pit road following the Kobalt 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Contact on the final lap led Busch to confront Logano after they exited their cars, and things escalted quickly. A handful of drivers and NASCAR Nation members took to Twitter to share their views after the fracas, including Logano, himself. We about crashed and I was trying to save it. Nothing intentional on my end. Had another fast Ford all day. Proud of this 22 team. — Joey Logano (@joeylogano) March 13, 2017 What's up? Heard there was a fight. — Denny Hamlin (@dennyhamlin) March 13, 2017 I have never really beat the shit out of a guy, but me @TonyStewart and our crew chiefs had a fun brawl in the NASCAR hauler once. 1999 https://t.co/7wMD7p7Ia5 — Dale Earnhardt Jr. (@DaleJr) March 13, 2017 Yep. When you are mad you do stuff like that. But no matter how justified/pissed you feel, maybe it's best to do it off camera. https://t.co/BVLga4AWBb — Dale Earnhardt Jr. (@DaleJr) March 13, 2017 IMO-Fighting in Motorsport is dumb. It always turns into a pile and your own guys hit each other. At least in hockey they are good at it. https://t.co/BFThD7cN57 — Brad Keselowski (@keselowski) March 13, 2017 This sport is built on determination and passion! — Jeff Burton (@JeffBurton) March 12, 2017 Well… What do you think @NASCAR should do about the post race scuffle??? — Steve Letarte (@SteveLetarte) March 12, 2017 WWE Las Vegas. — Jeb Burton (@JebBurtonRacing) March 12, 2017 Make all crews stay behind pit wall for 10 min post race before going to the cars or drivers. https://t.co/AkDbtslM8D — Regan Smith (@ReganSmith) March 12, 2017 What separates racing from other sports is the intensity for EVERY position. Remember Kyle & Joey were not racing for the win. Points matter — Jeff Burton (@JeffBurton) March 12, 2017 EVERY #nascar driver started at the local short track.. Fighting IS NOT a local short track deal.. It's PASSION.. We are all the same. pic.twitter.com/yoY6Uw75nZ — Kenny Wallace (@Kenny_Wallace) March 13, 2017 MORE: Busch, Logano tangle after Las Vegas race &amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;/p&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;
Bubba Wallace joins fight on World Cancer Day
BUY TICKETS: See the Daytona 500 live! Saturday is designated as World Cancer Day, and the impact of fighting this disease is not lost on young NASCAR star driver Bubba Wallace , who is an Ambassador for the international Movember Foundation. Wallace is among a long list of celebrities and sports stars who have made it a priority to recognize the annual effort to bring attention to fighting this disease. And to making a difference. "The truth is, I'm able to go right now to a mountain bike park with my dad, able to enjoy life on an off-day, just having fun and not having any limits or barriers," said the driver of Roush Fenway Racing 's No. 6 Leidos Ford Mustang in the XFINITY Series. "We're trying to find a cure for all kinds of cancer and it's something I think everyone is on board with. Nobody wants to see time shortened up with such a strong disease. It's just something I always wanted to step up to the plate, support and do what I need to do." Wallace is joining a high-profile list of current and former Movember ambassadors such as Cindy Crawford, Emmy Rossum, Christoph Waltz, Eric Decker and James Wolk. They have all lent their names in an effort to bring attention and hope to patients around the world suffering from cancer. RELATED: Wallace carries emotional Phoenix lessons into 2017 The Movember organization is well known for its work encouraging men to grow mustaches each November as a way to get the general conversation started on ways to raise awareness and funds. In addition to his work with Movember and its emphasis on men's health issues, Wallace was also among a group of NASCAR drivers who helped paint the Charlotte Motor Speedway walls pink last October in recognition of the Breast Cancer Awareness campaign. "It's been a lot of fun going to the track and painting the walls for breast cancer," Wallace said. "Knowing close friends that have been involved and affected by it, it's something I keep close to heart for sure. It's a struggle and I don't want to see anybody have to go through that struggle. "I want everybody to have a good life and do what they want to do." Saturday's campaign -- coordinated by the Union for International Cancer Control -- is promoting the Twitter hashtag #WeCanICan and reminding people on a global scale of the work still to be done. The campaign reminds, "Just as cancer affects everyone in different ways, everyone has the power to take action to reduce the impact that cancer has. World Cancer Day is a chance to reflect on what you can do, make a pledge and take action."
Bubba Wallace takes lessons from emotional Phoenix for '17 season
If Darrell Wallace Jr . had one chance to press the rewind button in 2016, he knows exactly where and when he'd go back. "Phoenix really showed in that fall race that we were one of the fastest cars," Wallace recalled last month during the NASCAR Media Tour hosted by Charlotte Motor Speedway , referring to the Nov. 12, 2016 XFINITY Series event that closed out the Round of 8 in the series' playoffs. "The race is probably the highlight one that I want to take back and do over again, but no different mindset." Wallace qualified his No. 6 Roush Fenway Racing Ford fifth for the 200-mile playoff cut-off race. His grandmother had passed a few days prior, so he carried "Granny Jan" above the door. Filled with raw emotion before the race and motivated to win for her, Bubba saw one of the best runs he had all year -- until contact from Blake Koch ’s No. 11 ride sent him into the wall, removing him from the 2016 playoffs. RELATED: See how Wallace's playoff run came to an end
Rusty Wallace set to hit the road at Daytona
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- NASCAR Hall of Famer Rusty Wallace has hoisted the sport's biggest trophies and competed on its largest stages. And this week at Daytona International Speedway the former stock car champion will be bringing his A-game again competing against some of sports car racing’s best in the Ferrari Finali Mondiali. It is the first time this renowned Ferrari event has been held in the United States and both Wallace and the Speedway are eager to be a part of this internationally famed race weekend. "We're really excited," Daytona International Speedway President Chip Wile said. "It's all coming together now, the trucks are moving in today. We had the car show last weekend. It's been really exciting to see all this come together in the last couple weeks, but we've been working on it since April. "It's the first time this event has ever been hosted in North America and what better place than the International Center of Racing and the new Daytona International Speedway , the world's only motorsports stadium. It feels like a fitting backdrop for one of the premier Ferrari events in the world." Wallace won't just be representing NASCAR by his presence, he's going to compete – driving for the Risi Competizione/Ferrari of Houston team in the North America series of the Ferrari Challenge Trofeo Pirelli. To prepare, the 1989 NASCAR premier series champion spent two days testing the Risi Ferrari at America's current Formula One venue, Circuit of the Americas (COTA) in Austin, Texas. And he’ll have opportunity to test on the Daytona road course before the weekend’s race. "I'm really serious about it and will do best job I can in the time I've got," Wallace said. "This will be real exciting and the team I'm driving for just won the Petit LeMans. "I'm looking forward to it. It's going to be a lot of fun. I could have just showed up at Daytona. … but I didn't want to look stupid that's why I went to Austin, to get to know the car and know the team." This will be the second time Wallace has competed on Daytona's 3.56-mile road course. He co-drove as part of a team with Danica Patrick in the 2006 Rolex 24 at Daytona, but their sports car had a mechanical failure and did not finish the event. Wallace is optimistic and he has plenty of reason. He is long considered one of NASCAR's premier road racers. He earned two poles and two wins (1990 and 1996) at Sonoma and a pole and a pair of wins (1987 and 1989) at Watkins Glen, N.Y. He also scored back-to-back wins (1987-88) at the Riverside road course that’s no longer on the circuit. "I had really good success at Riverside, Watkins Glen and Sonoma , those were all good tracks for me," Wallace said. "So I told them, 'sure,' I'd love to come down and have some fun "I'm a Ferrari lover. When I found out I was going to compete, I said, I've got to get all right with this. So I spoke with (driver) Max Papis and he shared a couple things. The big deal was actually getting some time in a car before Daytona." The Ferrari Finali Mondiali, which Wallace will compete in, is a four-day World Championship event featuring Ferrari Challenge teams from the Europe, North American and Asia Pacific series. Additionally, fans will be treated to the displays of historic Formula One cars and for the first time ever at Daytona, F1 drivers Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen will drive in a Formula One. The Scuderia Ferrari drivers will also treat fans to fast laps and pit stop demonstrations. "Rusty's really excited and I think this is a unique opportunity for him and for us being able to promote the event through the eyes of a NASCAR champion," Wile said. "It's going to be quite the experience. Rusty is such a great ambassador for our sport and this is going to be fun to watch."
Wallace Jr., Gaughan, Reed, Koch miss Championship 4
RELATED: Full race results " Updated Chase Grid AVONDALE, Ariz. -- A tearful Darrell Wallace Jr . left the infield care center at Phoenix International Raceway on Saturday night, disappointed after a crash took him out of Chase contention and distraught over the loss of a cherished grandmother only days earlier. The Roush Fenway Racing NASCAR XFINITY Series driver had honored his grandmother by placing "Granny Jan" above the door of his No. 6 Ford. One of eight drivers vying for a berth in next week's Championship 4 at Homestead-Miami Speedway and seventh in points, Wallace needed a victory to secure a spot in the final. He was running inside the top 10 when contact from fellow Chase driver Blake Koch on Lap 149 of the 200-lap event sent his car hard into the wall, erasing any hopes of a victory. "My grandmother was giving me the ride of my life," an emotional Wallace said after exiting the care center. "That was the most fun I've had all year. Just circumstances took us out. ... We will go to Homestead and let her ride again." Wallace , teammate Ryan Reed , Koch (Kaulig Racing) and Brendan Gaughan ( Richard Childress Racing ) failed to transfer into the final round. Daniel Suarez and teammate Erik Jones ( Joe Gibbs Racing ) will make up half the field batting for the title as will JR Motorsports drivers Elliott Sadler and Justin Allgaier .
With XFINITY Series' military tribute, Wallace , Iwuji share bond
When the idea first surfaced of honoring active military units on the windshields of NASCAR XFINITY Series cars at Friday's Firecracker 250 Powered by Coca-Cola (7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio), someone asked Jesse Iwuji which driver's car he'd like his last deployment station, USS Comstock, featured on. Iwuji, the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West driver in his first full season who also is in active service in the U.S. Navy until 2017, didn't hesitate: Darrell Wallace Jr . "I've followed him a lot and I really love what he's done in the series," said Iwuji, who will attend this weekend's races at Daytona. Like Wallace , Iwuji is African-American and a lifelong race fan. Like Wallace , Iwuji is trying to make a name for himself in the sport. Like Wallace , Iwuji has shown great promise, but still is searching for his first win this season. With so many similarities, somehow when Wallace first heard that his No. 6 Roush Fenway Racing Ford would honor Iwuji at Daytona International Speedway for Friday's race, his predominant thought settled on the major difference between the two drivers. "I didn't know he was a Navy Lieutenant, so that's really cool," Wallace said. Many XFINITY Series drivers will learn new facts about the units displayed on their race cars this weekend. Part of 'NASCAR: An American Salute,' the program honoring military units and installations is a counterpart to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series' tribute during the Coca-Cola 600 over Memorial Day weekend where cars featured names of service men and women who died while in active duty. Several XFINITY Series teams have direct connections to the units, such as driver Elliott Sadler , whose windshield will be adorned with Fort Campbell's "3RD BCT 101ST ABN" to honor JR Motorsports employee Lee Langley, who served for six years at the Army base as an infantry team leader in the 101st Airborne Division. And then there's Iwuji and Wallace . The two drivers met a couple times in the past year that Iwuji has been driving professionally, but rather than discuss Iwuji's six years of active duty in the Navy, each time the two settled on their shared passion: racing. Iwuji peppered Wallace with questions about how he prepares for races, and how he manages the full-time job of driving. "I'm still brand new and still learning a lot," said Iwuji, who earned his first top 10 in his fifth start, "so I definitely have a long way to go." Sometimes, Wallace has the same feeling. But after 14 XFINITY Series races this season, Wallace has five top 10s and two top fives. He's currently ninth in the driver's standings, with seemingly a fairly secure spot in the 12-driver XFINITY Chase. But he's also winless. His second-place finish at Dover in May was a career best -- and it was just enough to leave Wallace yearning for more. "We're knocking on the door for our first win," Wallace said. "We need to clean up some areas that we're lacking in right now. We're kind of treating this (Daytona) as a test session because we have the Chase format. We can go to the race track and bring a different package to try each and every weekend. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. ... Hopefully we can get a win to lock us into the Chase, and then win a Chase race each and every segment, and then put ourselves in a position to win the title, win the title and everybody's happy." It seems a simple formula, though Wallace also knows there are significant strides to be made in the second half of the season. It all starts with this weekend's race, when he'll have USS Comstock plastered atop his windshield. "Hopefully it brings us some good luck, and hopefully it makes us 'military strong' so we can muscle some guys out of the way and get our first win," Wallace said.
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