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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
NASCAR.com runs with Bubba Wallace in Charlotte
RELATED: Bubba Wallace : Helping NASCAR grow one tweet at a time Dressed in a red "Share a Coke with Bubba" T-shirt, shorts, sneakers and, of course, his signature smile, Darrell Wallace Jr . was enjoying a rare off-night on Tuesday in Charlotte, North Carolina. And how did Bubba choose to spend it? By going on a 4-mile run around the city with family, friends, fans and NASCAR.com, of course. Let me explain. Every week the XFINITY Series star tweets out to his thousands of followers asking them to join him on a run. Anybody wanna run tonight?! New location....Charlotte trolley trail 7pm at 9th street! — Darrell Wallace Jr (@BubbaWallace) May 10, 2016 It's no secret that Bubba uses his social media platforms to connect with his fans -- how can we forget that hilarious NASCAR Snapchat takeover with his best friend Ryan Blaney -- so it makes sense he would ask his fans to go running with him. RELATED: Blaney, Bubba win fans over on Snapchat I decided to take him up on the offer. @BubbaWallace — Maggie MacKenzie (@Maggie_MKenzie) May 10, 2016 In short, the Roush Fenway Racing wheelman is speedy and won't take it easy on you, so if you plan on joining him be prepared to put in work. You may even make an appearance on his Twitter. Solid run in the QC tonight! Had some me peeps out, even a biker rode with us! pic.twitter.com/irN6bgR6bm — Darrell Wallace Jr (@BubbaWallace) May 11, 2016 See you next week.
Past and present: Drive for Diversity program growing
NASCAR's Drive for Diversity program has a lot to celebrate recently with its former members blazing the tracks in all three NASCAR national series, and also with its current members showing early promise. D4D is a development program that is in its 12th year and is aimed toward finding primarily young, diverse and female drivers and pit crew members. Through Rev Racing, which like NASCAR is also sponsored by Goodyear and Sunoco, those involved receive one-on-one training and year-round competition experience. The race weekend at Dover International Speedway displayed the depth -- and star power -- of former drivers who went through the Drive for Diversity initiative. Three of Drive for Diversity's former members earned the runner-up spot in the Sprint Cup Series, XFINITY Series and Camping World Truck Series races at the 1-mile oval -- Kyle Larson , Darrell Wallace Jr . and Daniel Suarez , respectively. The six members of the 2016 class hope to have a similar experience someday. Learn more about 2016's six members and the upcoming Drive for Diversity pit crew combine below.
NASCAR drivers battle in a go-kart classic
Ryan Blaney, Kyle Larson, Darrell Wallace Jr. and several other NASCAR drivers took to the track at the GoPro Motorplex to compete in the Little 600.
Bubba Wallace : Helping NASCAR grow one tweet at a time
As the sport of stock car racing evolves, a new generation of drivers is poised to grab the reins of NASCAR. And Darrell Wallace Jr . -- better known as "Bubba," driver of the No. 6 Roush Fenway Racing Ford in the XFINITY Series -- is one of the leaders of that charge. • • • Standing in the Concord, North Carolina-based Roush Fenway Racing museum on a brisk Wednesday morning, Wallace has zero airs about being one of the up-and-coming stars in racing. Dressed smartly in a pullover, flat-bill hat and leather Converse, he arrives promptly, immediately greeting everyone in the crew like old friends. "Time to look pretty now," Bubba tweeted out just prior to an on-camera interview. It has been a busy day for the 22-year-old, who just biked across RFR's campus from the morning pit practice and reveals he's heading to the ZMAX Dragway later in the day before leaving for Bristol Motor Speedway the next morning. But he's young, energetic and ambitious -- with a booming laugh that comes easily. Busy days like this don't seem to wear on him. That same fire and energy translates to the race track. Wallace and crew chief Seth Barbour put together a sixth-place run at the Powershares QQQ 300 at Daytona International Speedway -- a track that's not on Bubba's list of favorites -- and more recently, a career-best third-place at Auto Club Speedway . "We've just been working really hard, never giving up," Wallace said. "Going into Fontana, I didn't expect to finish third -- maybe 23rd the way we were running. … We've just been trying to really make a lot of gains." Nonetheless, it's the races sandwiched between Bubba's strong runs -- Atlanta, Las Vegas and Phoenix -- and a 15th-place result at Texas that the No. 6 driver focuses his attention on when he recounts the early part of the season. "Daytona, Fontana really went our way somewhat. The (others) did not," Wallace said. "We have to focus on why (those) did not and come up with a better game-plan to attack those next handful of races coming up." As Wallace adjusts to his sophomore season, the newly debuted XFINITY Series Chase format adds another element to the competition with its win-and-you're-in format. And Bubba is a fan. "I think it takes the pressure off us, really," he said. "I was talking to (Dale Earnhardt) Junior about it and he said that was the main thing that helped him was kind of relaxing. You get in kind of this consistent run -- obviously if you win, you're in. So, the emphasis is on winning but you can kind of take a step back knowing the points are going to reset as long as you're in the top 12. "So, it's exciting. I'm glad that NASCAR implemented that into the NASCAR XFINITY Series." • • • It's unsurprising Bubba favors the format, as the thrilling nature of the new Chase seems to fit the Bubba Wallace Brand -- something he's constantly building. It's a brand that’s a mixture of sass, humor, heavy metal music and transparency his fans experience through his social-media accounts. It could be a Twitter video of him and best friend/fellow driver Ryan Blaney 's heavy metal cover of a Parkway Drive song or a Snapchat of his plane ride to the track. It could be a tweet that reveals his fear of spiders ("You want an eight-legged thing running at you? Jumping at you? No," he said later) or an Instagram of his hike on the West Coast. No matter the subject, it's pure Bubba. That transparency allows fans to connect with Bubba away from the race track -- a luxury that many fans lack with their favorite drivers. "You get some of the funny tweets that you're not supposed to respond to but you do," Wallace said. "… It's just fun to be able to interact with them (fans). At the track, getting autographs, we get to talk to each other, but that's only two days out of the week. So, throughout, just keep them up with what you're doing." In the process, Bubba is aiding in the sport's growth: He appeared on an episode of the popular television show "American Idol" while in Los Angeles. He suited up for the gridiron and practiced with his childhood favorite Tennessee Volunteers football team. He's befriended rock stars like the band members from Asking Alexandria, bringing them to the race track. Just like that, NASCAR and pop culture have become intertwined. "Aside from what we do for a living, as far as race cars and turning left and going really fast, we have a personal life that we kind of like to show and show fans how we can connect with them," Wallace said. "A lot of fans watch 'American Idol' and I've got a lot of UT fans that follow me, so I've gotten to go to some of those games. And now I (got) to practice with the squad, which (was) really cool and one of the best days of my life. "But we just connect with the fans -- it's all about the fans in this sport," he continued. "We want to keep them engaged and get them to latch on, help build my brand." As the sport evolves, life's natural processes take place: Original, die-hard fans still form the core of NASCAR's audience, but as star drivers retire and up-and-comers make their marks, a younger generation steps into the light in the stands, too. These fans are still passionate -- but they're different. Young stars like Bubba know how to reach them. "I think anything that we do that's exciting, that's fun, that's cool to us is going to attract a new face," Wallace said. "NASCAR's all about bringing new faces in … We're trying to keep a consistent flow through and just trying to make everything exciting." At just 22 years old and at the beginning of a promising career, Bubba represents the future of NASCAR. And that future rocks out to Parkway Drive on the drums.
Tifft, Wallace top XFINITY practices at Talladega
Practice 2: Results Matt Tifft kicked off the weekend strong, topping final NASCAR XFINITY Series practice at Talladega Superspeedway . Tifft, who was wheeling the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota, earned a fastest lap of 181.918 mph. Next was the No. 3 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet of Ty Dillon (181.515 mph), last week's Dash 4 Cash winner. Rounding out the top three was the No. 33 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet of Brandon Jones (180.346 mph). The No. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota of Daniel Suarez , the current points leader, and No. 51 Chevrolet of Jeremy Clements were fourth and fifth, respectively. The defending race winner Joey Logano finished the 55-minute session 33rd (153.787 mph). Practice 1: Results Darrell Wallace Jr . scooted to the top spot in opening NASCAR XFINITY Series practice Friday at Talladega Superspeedway . Wallace wheeled the Roush Fenway Racing No. 6 Ford to a best lap of 192.413 mph around the 2.66-mile track. He vaulted to the top of the leaderboard with an aerodynamic boost from teammate Ryan Reed , who clocked the second-fastest lap at 192.355 mph in Roush Fenway's No. 16 Ford. Ty Dillon , last week's winner of the Dash 4 Cash $100,000 bonus from the series sponsor, was third-fastest at 191.827 mph in the Richard Childress Racing No. 3 Chevrolet. Matt Tifft (191.670 mph) was fourth-best in the Joe Gibbs Racing No. 18 Toyota with Austin Dillon (190.601) completing the top five in Childress' No. 2 Chevy in early prep for Saturday's Sparks Energy 300 event (3 p.m. ET, FOX, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio). Series points leader Daniel Suarez , in the Joe Gibbs Racing No. 19 Toyota, wound up 10th of the 43 drivers to turn laps in the opening 55-minute session. Sprint Cup regular Joey Logano , the defending race winner, was 18th-best in Team Penske 's No. 22 Ford.
Wallace Jr. fails post-race inspection at Auto Club
RELATED: Full race results " Race recap " Standings post-race FONTANA, Calif. -- A strong top-three finish for Darrell Wallace Jr . in Saturday's TreatMyClot.com 300 by Janssen at Auto Club Speedway was slightly marred, as NASCAR announced the No. 6 Ford failed post-race inspection. According to NASCAR officials, Wallace's Roush Fenway Racing entry failed to meet the minimum ride height requirement. Potential penalties for the team would be addressed early next week at the NASCAR Research & Development Center in Concord, North Carolina. (UPDATE: No penalties were issued to the No. 6 team) The third-place finish for Wallace tied the 22-year-old driver’s career-best finish in the XFINITY Series and was his top result thus far in the 2016 season. MORE: At-track photos
Ryan Blaney, Bubba Wallace Snap way into our hearts
Ryan Blaney and Darrell Wallace Jr . have taken their show on the road. The friends/drivers/comedians took over the official NASCAR Snapchat account following Sunday's race at Phoenix, sending hilarious updates of their road trip to California throughout the night. From impersonating drivers' style behind the wheel (our favorite: Ryan Newman ) to impressions of drivers giving post-race interviews (our favorite: Joey Logano ), the two looked like … well, a couple of 22-year-olds having fun on NASCAR Goes West. Wallace sent out a sneak preview, but to view the whole thing, simply add "NASCAR" as an account you follow on Snapchat (download Snapchat from the App Store if you don't have it) and watch their story. Felt like that was strong intro to this takeover! Missed it? I got you right here pic.twitter.com/TfD7EfVbvY — Darrell Wallace Jr (@BubbaWallace) March 14, 2016 When @BubbaWallace and @Blaney take over your Snap account... pic.twitter.com/yTYpgGflbz — NASCAR (@NASCAR) March 14, 2016
1987 Winston: Where Are They Now?
RELATED: Elliott will 'never forget' Earnhardt move The starting grid for the 1987 Winston All-Star Race looked a lot like an exhibit befitting the NASCAR Hall of Fame. This was The All-Star Race for the ages. Hall of Famers Richard Petty, Dale Earnhardt, Bobby Allison, Darrell Waltrip, Cale Yarborough, Terry Labonte, Rusty Wallace and Bill Elliott all competed. Greats such as Neil Bonnett, Harry Gant, Ricky Rudd, Buddy Baker, and Benny Parsons were on the 20-driver starting grid, too. A young Davey Allison and a new Daytona 500 winner Geoffrey Bodine lined up alongside these iconic names. The fast and famed Tim Richmond was on the grid, too, in what was his final season of NASCAR competition. And don't forget about Kyle Petty, Bobby Hillin Jr. and Greg Sacks. The only driver on that famed All-Star lineup still NASCAR racing today is Morgan Shepherd, who drove a car fielded by drag racing legend Kenny Bernstein -- and his seventh-place finish that day in his first All-Star Race remains his best showing. That starting lineup was a true convergence of NASCAR's best -- sentimental favorites, crusty veterans, future Hall of Famers and young stars out to make their big names. It had personality. It had top-line credentials. In only its third running, the 1987 race showed exactly the pizzazz that would help forge the All-Star Race into the can't-miss annual event that will be on full display Saturday in the Sprint All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway . For all its historical allure, amazingly in that famed 1987 race only four drivers even led a lap -- the winner Earnhardt (10), the day's dominant driver Elliott (121), Bodine (3) and Kyle Petty (1). The great seven-time Cup champ Richard Petty crashed with the late superstar Neil Bonnett on Lap 66. As dominant and successful as Petty was, it's easy to forget he never won an All-Star Race. Among the most memorable aspects of this race will undoubtedly be the day's winner Earnhardt's "Pass in the Grass" of Elliott. It wasn't actually a pass at all, but Earnhardt maneuvering to hold onto his late race lead over Elliott in the day's most dominant car. It was the first of three All-Star wins for Earnhardt. And the gritty, hard-nosed final laps racing launched this -- then still young -- event into a bona fide can't-miss rite of spring. The above photo itself has become quite a piece of NASCAR lore. When this group of 20 drivers came together for this indelible image, these are the numbers they would leave behind: 812 premier series victories, 26 premier series championships, 11 All-Star Race wins ... and one urban legend.
Tony Stewart catches a raccoon, more tweets
Editor's note: Every Friday, "Tweets You Might Have Missed" will present eight of the best NASCAR-related tweets from the week. 1. So Back Off! pic.twitter.com/yXzbORSH5b — Dale Earnhardt Jr . (@DaleJr) May 17, 2016 2. Smash cake was a success pic.twitter.com/e0x9BoQhUv — Samantha Busch (@SamanthaBusch) May 18, 2016 3. Come home from a bad day at work and see this guy robbing food from the fish feeder pic.twitter.com/WWnvqAS39x — Tony Stewart (@TonyStewart) May 16, 2016 4. #SquadGoals #NW88JR pic.twitter.com/qIbNWKZkIV — Nationwide 88 (@nationwide88) May 13, 2016 5. Okay @Blaney I think you have to make it into the all star race now pic.twitter.com/b9UqwHP1Su — Emma Blaney (@EmmaBlaney) May 19, 2016 6. Uno Haas is pumped about his new mask! pic.twitter.com/5WetAGp1kj — Kevin Harvick (@KevinHarvick) May 19, 2016 7. Oh.... Ha almost forgot. You're welcome @erik_jones for the push! I'll swing by and pick up my 5% this week! — Darrell Wallace Jr (@BubbaWallace) May 14, 2016 8. Great company. 3 cokes-9 bottles water-4 bars-6 gels. 102 miles. Big mountain. Bike. Does a day get any better? pic.twitter.com/qsS6hB352s — Josh Wise (@Josh_Wise) May 16, 2016 Taylor Starer contributed to this story