XFINTIY Series rookies hope to continue success at Lilly Diabetes 250 Racing at Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the first time might be daunting enough, even for two NASCAR XFINITY Series rookies awash in midseason momentum. But when Daniel Suarez and Darrell Wallace Jr . touch down at the fabled Brickyard, the sense of the unknown will hinge on another sizable variable. Saturday's Lilly Diabetes 250 (3:30 p.m. ET, NBC, IMS Radio, SiriusXM) will be the first for a new rules package for the XFINITY Series, which will emulate the high-drag aero setup that Sprint Cup cars will also use for the first time this season. But beyond the tweaked rules that await Suarez and Wallace is also the adjustment to racing at a historic 2.5-mile track with a layout like no other circuit on the NASCAR calendar. "I'm really excited to get to Indy, another one of those places where I haven't been to, so it's going to be a pretty big challenge," Wallace said Monday during a whirlwind tour through New York City with Suarez and defending XFINITY champ Chase Elliott . "We have to not really focus on those first couple of runs on the car, it's more a focus on me of hitting the right marks and make sure I'm getting all out of the car that I can. You have to be on it but I'm excited to get to another big track for us. "We're on a pretty good roll right now with three top-10s in the last four races, so we've just got to keep pressing forward." MORE: Bubba, Chase and Suarez take a selfie in New York City Wallace's streak of success in his first year in Roush Fenway Racing 's No. 6 Ford has some competition with Suarez's recent tear. The Mexican-born driver of Joe Gibbs Racing 's No. 18 Toyota has two straight top-five results on the XFINITY side heading to Indy and hasn't finished outside of the top 10 all season in his partial schedule (seven starts thus far) in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. The last time Suarez visited Indianapolis, he said he was 14 or 15 years old and still getting his motorsports career off the ground in go-karts. Now 23, he has designs on absorbing as many lessons as possible to keep his own rookie roll going. "It was a long time ago and now we're coming back for the big race track with a big chance to get experience," Suarez said. "I'm excited about that and looking forward to this weekend, most of all to learn as much as possible on Friday. And after that, hopefully everything will be pretty good." Suarez said he planned on doing his homework before Saturday's 250-miler, watching race film as part of his customary preparation. Wallace said he's already leaned on friends and fellow competitors Elliott and Ryan Blaney , each of whom have starts at the 2.5-mile speedway under their belts. Standard prep work aside, both say they expect the high-drag rules package to add a new wrinkle to the build-up to Saturday's race. Both Wallace and Suarez said they approved of NASCAR potentially implementing track-specific packages based on the type of racing they saw with a lower-downforce setup for Sprint Cup cars two weekends ago at Kentucky Speedway. But how will the Brickyard package race? Wallace said teams and drivers won't know for certain until cars hit the track for Friday's pair of practices. "Hopefully we're ready for it and on top of our game," Wallace said. "They're trying to produce more racing, and I'm a fan of that. Just going to see how much different the cars are going to drive and how much different the speeds are getting into the corner. Talking with Chase and Ryan, they're talking about how it's almost wide-open there in some corners at Indy. So I don't know if we will be wide-open in (Turns) 2 and 4 or what, but that new package and that bigger spoiler will definitely reduce horsepower, so we'll just have to see how it goes." FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Buescher seals 1-2 Roush sweep in Dover XFINITY qualifying RELATED: Qualifying results Darrell Wallace Jr . sped to the Coors Light Pole Award in Saturday qualifying for the NASCAR XFINITY Series at Dover International Speedway . Wallace drove the Roush Fenway Racing No. 6 Ford to a fast lap of 153.991 mph, securing the top starting spot for Saturday's Buckle Up 200 presented by Click It or Ticket (2:30 p.m. ET, FOX, MRN, SiriusXM). The pole position was Wallace's first of the season and second of his XFINITY career -- both coming at the Monster Mile. Series points leader Chris Buescher , Wallace's Roush Fenway teammate, will share the front row after posting the second-fastest lap, 153.886 mph in the No. 60 Ford. Buescher, who also notched the fastest lap in the opening 20-minute round of qualifying, holds a four-point lead in the XFINITY standings over Ty Dillon heading into the 12th of 33 races this season. Sprint Cup Series regular Matt Kenseth was third-fastest at 153.715 mph in the Joe Gibbs Racing No. 20 Toyota. Rookie Daniel Suarez was fourth-best in another Gibbs entry while Richard Childress Racing 's Brian Scott completed the top five in qualifying on the 1-mile concrete track. Defending series champion Chase Elliott posted the 14th-fastest lap in Round 2, just missing out on the 12-driver cutoff for the final qualifying round. "Not going fast enough, just as simple as that," Elliott told FOX Sports 1 after his qualifying pass. With 40 cars vying for 40 starting spots, no drivers failed to qualify. FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Driver set to compete in NASCAR XFINITY Series Darrell "Bubba" Wallace Jr ., third in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series final standings this past season and a graduate of NASCAR Next and Drive for Diversity initiatives, will compete in the NASCAR XFINITY Series in 2015 for Roush Fenway Racing , according to RFR officials. Wallace , 21, will join drivers Chris Buescher , Ryan Reed and Elliott Sadler in the RFR lineup. Wallace will pilot the organization's No. 6 Ford Mustang previously driven by Trevor Bayne . Additional team personnel and sponsorship will be announced at a later date. "I've had a remarkable journey over the last few years thanks to people who have put me in a position to win the races that I have," Wallace said. "When I first joined the sport, many said I would never compete with the real drivers. Now, as I join the winningest (XFINITY) team in NASCAR history, I take that as a responsibility to add more wins to the team's legacy and help tear down the barriers for the next generation of NASCAR drivers." Wallace won five races from 2013-14 while competing in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series for Kyle Busch Motorsports, scoring four this past season. RELATED: Bubba done with KBM as team announces 2015 lineup In 2013, he became the first African American driver to win a NASCAR national series event in 50 years when he won his first Camping World Truck Series race at Martinsville Speedway . This past year, he successfully defended his title while driving an entry whose paint scheme and number 34 paid tribute to NASCAR's first African American winner, Wendell Scott. Wallace made six career Nationwide (soon to be XFINITY ) Series starts for Joe Gibbs Racing , with whom he was under contract, between 2012-14. He finished in the top 10 in four of those starts, with a best finish of seventh at Iowa (in 2012) and Daytona (2014). However, without sponsorship to remain at KBM, and with no funding for him at JGR in the XFINITY Series, Wallace asked for and was granted his release earlier this month. RFR president Steve Newmark said Wallace "is viewed in industry circles as one of the brightest young drivers." "He has a charismatic personality and at the same time has exhibited the ability to win on the race track," Newmark said. "We are looking forward to getting him in our race cars next season." In addition to the four XFINITY Series teams, Roush Fenway also fields teams in NASCAR's Sprint Cup Series for drivers Bayne, Ricky Stenhouse Jr . and Greg Biffle . Bayne, who is making the move up to compete full time in the Sprint Cup Series in 2015, finished sixth in the Nationwide Series this past season, while Buescher, who won once, was seventh and Reed ninth. Sadler spent the previous two seasons at JGR, finishing fourth in 2013 and third this past year. RELATED: Wallace Jr . receives release from JGR Roush Fenway Racing's XFINITY Series program is the winningest in NASCAR, having earned 133 victories. Ricky Stenhouse Jr . (2011-12), Carl Edwards (2007) and Biffle (2002) have won series championships for the group. "We are certainly pleased to have Bubba Wallace come on board," team co-owner Jack Roush said. "He is certainly a great young talent and I feel it will be mutually beneficial for us to be able to put him into a team environment with a veteran driver like Elliott (Sadler) and the young guys Chris Buescher and Ryan Reed . "We have had a great deal of history in the NASCAR XFINITY Series and we are happy to have Bubba as the latest piece of that rich legacy." The addition of Wallace to the Ford camp is a boost for the automaker as well. "We're thrilled to have Bubba Wallace be part of our Ford Mustang racing efforts," said Jamie Allison, director, Ford Racing. "His winning performances since becoming part of NASCAR's Drive for Diversity program have certainly made him one of the drivers in the sport to watch in the future, and we think he can bring a lot to Roush Fenway and Ford, both on and off the track." MORE: READ: Latest Chase news PLAY: Monitor your Chase Grid Game picks WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Crafton locks up second straight NCWTS title MORE: Crafton wins back-to-back titles " Full race results " Season standings HOMESTEAD, Fla. -- After breathtaking, three-wide racing during the final 20-lap green-flag run, Darrell "Bubba" Wallace Jr . held off hard-charging Keystone Light Polesitter Kyle Larson to win Friday night's Ford EcoBoost 200 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Homestead-Miami Speedway . Behind the wild battle for the victory, Matt Crafton ran ninth and won an unprecedented second straight series title with room to spare -- by 21 points. Timothy Peters came home third, followed by Kyle Busch and Ryan Blaney , runner-up to Crafton for the series championship. Busch won the NCWTS owner’s championship in the No. 51 Toyota he drove on Friday night. "Toward the end, battling the two Kyles -- the (Sprint) Cup stars -- it was tough," Wallace said. "But I didn't get too excited, didn't get too down. I kept a cool head and stayed patient and was able to come out on top." Wallace won his fourth race of the season and fifth of his career in his final ride in the No. 54 Kyle Busch Motorsports Toyota, as the organization picked up its 14th victory in 22 races. Signed to Joe Gibbs Racing, Wallace is expected to move up to the NASCAR XFINITY Series next year. "It is going to be sad to see him go," Busch said, "but we've got another great shoe that’s going to be able to fit into that role really, really good with Erik Jones . It's not that I'm saying goodbye, but I'm wishing him the best next year in what he gets to do, and I'm excited about his growth and opportunity to move up to the (XFINITY) Series." Wallace said he hopes to get plans for 2015 settled soon. "I wish things were finalized," Wallace said. "We're continuing to work hard to find my future plans. For me, I'm just going to go play some golf while I'm down here in Miami and enjoy this win, enjoy the offseason. "But as far as plans, we're continuing to work hard." As he closed on Wallace in the final laps, Larson said he contemplated trying the same sort of banzai move Ryan Newman had used on Larson on the final lap of last Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Phoenix, where Newman secured the final spot in Sunday's Championship Round at Homestead by a single point. "I thought about it -- very quickly," Larson said. "But I figured that would definitely be the wrong thing to do, especially in a Truck race where I'm just kind of out there to have fun, and Bubba's out there to try to gain points, or whatever, and get the win." Blaney's waning championship hopes suffered a blow when his shifter broke, causing him to stall his No. 29 Brad Keselowski Racing Ford exiting his pit stall on Lap 72. Blaney dropped to 14th for the subsequent restart on Lap 76 and quickly worked his way up to ninth, three positions behind Crafton in the running order. By then, only 21 trucks remained on the lead lap, providing Crafton with a comfortable margin of error, given that Crafton entered the race needing a finish of 21st or better to claim the series title. Using vise-grips to control the broken shifter, Blaney was fourth off pit road for a restart on Lap 104, after the fifth caution of the night. His hard-fought top-five wasn’t enough to overcome the 25-point lead Crafton held entering the race. During that same pit stop, Larson fell from first to third on pit road, after having led 96 laps to that point. Wallace grabbed the lead from Busch on Lap 119 of 134 and held it the rest of the way, as Larson charged into second place and closed the gap to .294 seconds at the finish. Note: Ben Kennedy won the Sunoco Rookie of the Year honors in the series. Kennedy and Tyler Reddick tied in the rookie standings, with Kennedy winning the title because of his higher position in driver championship points. MORE: READ: Latest Chase news PLAY: Monitor your Chase Grid Game picks WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Four drivers and fans have chances to win $100,000 MORE: How Dash 4 Cash works; enter now! CONCORD, N.C. -- Regan Smith said he didn't realize until Friday that Saturday's Hisense 300 at Charlotte Motor Speedway was the qualifier for the NASCAR XFINITY Series' Dash 4 Cash Sweepstakes. But on Saturday in the driver's meeting he tapped Jason Burdett, crew chief of the No. 7 JR Motorsports Chevrolet, on the shoulder and said, "Hey, you know this is the Dash 4 Cash race and we need to be good today." The No. 7 remained steady and in the top 10 for the majority of the race, but what made Saturday good was a late pit stop that propelled Smith to a fourth-place finish, his best at Charlotte. Smith led a group of Dash 4 Cash qualifiers that included Darrell Wallace Jr . (fifth place), Daniel Suarez (sixth) and Ty Dillon (seventh) in a race won by Austin Dillon . The best finisher among the four in next week's Buckle Up presented by Click it or Ticket 200 at Dover International Speedway (2:30 p.m. ET, FOX) will take home $100,000 and advance to the next round of the Dash 4 Cash. For Wallace , the fifth-place finish at Charlotte was a career best in his young XFINITY Series career and came on the heels of a sixth-place showing at Iowa. Wallace also finished sixth at Texas earlier this season, and the driver of the No. 6 Roush Fenway Racing Ford said he's building some momentum. "This is a confidence booster for all of my guys," Wallace said. "We just have to clean up ourselves on pit road. That's been a struggle for us these last couple races, but we've been able to manage a couple spots on restarts and come away with our first top-five in the series. ... This is where we need to be. We're setting up ship for late in the season." As for the immediate future, Wallace said he needed to learn how to translate qualifying success at Dover International Speedway into a race win. In 2012, Wallace won the pole in the fall XFINITY race at Dover only to finish 12th. He also won a pole there in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series in the spring of 2013 but finished 10th. "Dover has been a very successful track for me," Wallace said. "It would be nice if (the Dash 4 Cash) paid for the pole there because I'm pretty good at qualifying there. I haven't got the finishes I wanted, but I'm excited to be in the XFINITY Series and part of the Dash 4 Cash Series, so I'm glad to be one of the four." Wallace and fellow rookie Suarez will mix it up with Smith and Dillon, who are veterans of the Dash 4 Cash battles -- with Dillon winning a Dash 4 Cash race last year at Indianapolis Motor Speedway . In addition to Dover and Indianapolis, the Dash 4 Cash will take place at Bristol Motor Speedway and Darlington Raceway this year. Suarez, who qualified 19th for Saturday's race in Charlotte, charged through the field early and maintained a top-10 position for the second half of the race. Suarez's sixth-place finish in his first race at CMS was his fourth top 10 of the season. "We had a hard time in qualifying -- maybe one of my worst qualifying runs of the year at 19th," Suarez said. "All these guys, they don't know how to give up and that's something that is really good, and I'm learning to be just like that as well." And like Smith, Suarez was pleasantly surprised that Saturday marked the beginning of the Dash 4 Cash. "That's cool and something new actually," Suarez said. "I saw the Dash 4 Cash, and I don't know exactly how it works or anything, but I'm really proud to be part of this and something new for me." FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Darrell Wallace Jr videobombs Ryan Blaney giving an interview during a rain delay of the NCWTS qualifying session at Chicagoland Speedway.
Darrell Wallace Jr . gets loose and spins out in the backstretch bringing out the second caution of the race on Lap 97, Wallace's teammate Chris Buescher benefits from the caution, putting him back on the lead lap at Chicagoland Speedway.
Brothers disagree on how much dirt-track racing NASCAR should have ROSSBURG, Ohio -- They're brothers, Austin and Ty Dillon , so of course they sometimes disagree. There were certainly a few differing opinions during an Abbott and Costello-esque joint media availability with the two drivers at Eldora Speedway in advance of Wednesday night's 1-800-Car-Cash Mud Summer Classic. The mid-week race is the lone yearly foray onto dirt for one of NASCAR's three national series, and Wednesday's NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at the half-mile, high-banked dirt oval owned by Tony Stewart is the third consecutive year the trucks stop in western Ohio. While some of the discussion between the brothers was humorous -- both considered themselves the favorite to win, with Austin asking Ty to go on the record and putting his recorded answer on Instagram -- there was a very real difference of opinion on a talking point throughout the NASCAR community. Should there be more races on dirt, and should the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and/or the NASCAR XFINITY Series be involved? "My opinion is, I think this event has gained so much exposure and has done such a good job for the Truck Series," Ty Dillon said. "I know everyone wants to see more dirt races throughout the series, but I think we need to keep it unique to the Truck Series. What it is now is an event everybody looks forward to, and I think if you start adding too many of them, you're going to kind of cloud the specialness of the event. "And I think this is a prestigious event -- at least it is to me and the folks in the dirt world. You start adding more to the schedule, it takes a little bit away from it for me personally." It took less than three seconds for Ty's older brother to offer his retort and draw in Texas Motor Speedway President Eddie Gossage -- in town for the event, and hanging out in the media center -- into his argument. "I disagree -- guess what, we're brothers," Austin Dillon said with a chuckle. "I don't know, I like these races and I think they're fun. We've got a guy in the back (Gossage) who could make it happen if we wanted a dirt race in Texas. "It brings something new to our sport, changes it up and brings new fans who are curious to see what it's like. And it's good racing. Look at the highlights of the last two years racing here and you could probably put that in any highlight reel that NASCAR's had in the last 10 years." MORE: Ty makes light of Keselowski's asphalt background Austin Dillon won the inaugural event in 2013, with Darrell Wallace Jr . taking top honors in 2014 after outlasting Kyle Larson ; Ty Dillon finished fifth last year. The 2013 victory for Austin Dillon , who drives the No. 3 Chevrolet full time in the Sprint Cup Series, came at NASCAR's first national series event at a dirt track since 1970, when Richard Petty won at North Carolina State Fairgrounds. Austin and Ty may disagree on NASCAR's dirt future, but there was one resounding theme in which there was harmony between the two -- and everyone in the garage area Wednesday agree. "This event is very special," Austin Dillon said. "I think it's awesome to see a dirt track develop like this. I'm really thankful for what Tony (Stewart) is doing here." FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Bobby Pierce finishes second in first Truck Series start RELATED: Complete race results ROSSBURG, Ohio -- The pit crew swarmed the truck; the driver climbed out and threw his hands high into the night air; the owner ran around screaming and handing out hugs. In the background of this scene, as fireworks exploded over Eldora Speedway's half-mile dirt oval, race winner Christopher Bell turned victory donuts that sent plumes of dust skyward. The fact that Bobby Pierce finished second didn't dampen the celebration on pit road. In fact, it heightened it. In his NASCAR Camping World Truck Series debut, Pierce chased Bell all over the track in a thrilling conclusion to the third annual event at the Tony Stewart -owned facility in western Ohio. He did so in a battered No. 63 MB Motorsports Chevrolet that, by the end, looked like something from a nearby junkyard. The decklid was drooping, the back right fender was covered in dents and discoloration and tiny chunks of the body were scattered somewhere along the hard clay. "I knew these trucks could take a lot before they started falling apart," Pierce said with a grin after hopping out of his truck. "It was a lot of fun out there. I'm out of breath, but so happy." The 18-year-old had to spend a few moments composing himself inside the cockpit following the checkered flag, a piece of time that included third-place finisher Tyler Reddick strolling over, leaning into the window and patting him on the helmet. A member of his pit crew walked in circles, screaming "(Expletive) yeah! Can you believe it?" They couldn't. Pierce led 39 of 154 laps after starting from the pole. He was in the top five throughout the entirety of the 1-800-Car-Cash Mud Summer Classic, including the frenzied finish that saw four cautions -- and thus four harrowing restarts -- over a 42–lap span and resulted in a green-white-checkered finish. Bell, 20 years old, and Pierce put on another Eldora classic. They went high into the wall, sending both sparks and dirt spraying from their trucks. They went low, dodging Reddick, Austin Dillon , Ty Dillon and Matt Crafton , among others. It was reminiscent of last year's frenzied finish, when Kyle Larson used all his truck would give him, careening into walls while attempting to chase down eventual winner Darrell Wallace Jr . "I know a lot of people before the race were thinking I was going to be the Kyle Larson this year, probably," Pierce said. "I didn't want to be the guy in second, but that's how it goes." Team owner Mike Mittler was fine with second. A team owner in the Truck Series since its inception in 1995, Wednesday was his best finish. His only other career top 10 in 213 starts was an eighth-place showing with Carl Edwards in 2002. It was a wait of 13 years for a man well-regarded in the NASCAR community, one who helped drivers such as Brad Keselowski (who finished 28th Wednesday), Edwards, Jamie McMurray and Justin Allgaier start their careers. After celebrating with Pierce and the crew, Mittler took a congratulatory phone call and helped wheel the truck across the infield for inspection before pausing to consider what the runner-up result meant. "I thought if it stayed green, we'd have every opportunity to work (Bell) and get by him, but it just didn't go that way," Mittler told NASCAR.com. "I just thought, 'Wow, what a phenomenal opportunity after 20 years, to be in position to finally have an opportunity to win a race.' " The opportunity came with a driver Mittler has known for years -- he is friends with Pierce's father outside of racing -- and one who watched the inaugural Eldora race on television at home, and took in last year's event from the grandstands. "The whole thing is pretty cool," Bell said, "because I remember we were at a local show in Illinois a year ago, and I had never heard of Bobby Pierce and I'm sure he'd never heard of me. He kicked their butt in the late model race. I never dreamed we'd be racing neck and neck at Eldora." But they were. And on a night in which Bell cemented his place in NASCAR, Pierce's possible NASCAR career also took flight. "That's why you're in this sport, to be in contention to win," Mittler said. "It wasn't a fluke. We were there all day. It was no fluke at all. The kid's the real deal. He said this is a dream come true for him, and it is for me, too." FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Darrell Wallace Jr , Matt Crafton and Timothy Peters talk about trying to keep up with Erik Jones at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.