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
Darrell Wallace Jr videobombs Ryan Blaney giving an interview during a rain delay of the NCWTS qualifying session at Chicagoland Speedway.
Darrell Wallace Jr , Matt Crafton and Timothy Peters talk about trying to keep up with Erik Jones at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Darrell Wallace Jr . talks to NASCAR Illustrated's Steven Levine about his 1967 Volkswagon Beetle.
Darrell Wallace Jr . talks about making the jump to the NASCAR XFINITY Series and racing for Roush Fenway Racing.
Qualifying, race set for Saturday at Daytona Play: NASCAR Fantasy Live XFINITY PRACTICE 1 " Full results After finishing second in Thursday night's Sprint Cup Series Budweiser Duel #2, Kyle Busch soared to the top of the leaderboard at Daytona International Speedway during Friday's opening NASCAR XFINITY Series practice for the Alert Today Florida 300 (Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET, FOX Sports 1). The Joe Gibbs Racing driver propelled his No. 54 Toyota at 191.681 mph around the "World Center of Racing." RAB Racing's Justin Marks also showed plenty of momentum in his No. 29 Toyota, posting the second-fastest speed of 190.496 mph. JGL Racing's Mike Wallace (190.018 mph), Roush Fenway Racing's Darrell Wallace Jr . (189.661 mph) and Richard Childress Racing's Ty Dillon (189.550 mph) rounded out the top five. 2014 champion Chase Elliott powered his No. 9 JR Motorsports Chevrolet around the Florida oval at 187.966 mph, ranking 24th among the group. FINAL XFINITY PRACTICE " Full results Circling Daytona International Speedway at 187.009 mph, Mike Wallace led the NASCAR XFINITY Series field during Friday's final practice for the Alert Today Florida 300 (Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET, FOX Sports 1). Wallace also posted the third-fastest speed in the series' opening practice and was the only top-five driver from the first session to make another run in the final practice. Close behind Wallace was Richard Childress Racing's Brian Scott, who propelled his No. 2 Chevrolet around the Florida track second-fastest at 186.997 mph. A trio of Chevys rounded out the top five: Billy Boat Motorsports' Chad Boat (186.931 mph), Jeremy Clements Racing's Jeremy Clements (186.305 mph) and JD Motorsports' Ross Chastain (185.743 mph), respectively. Several drivers neglected to make a run in final practice, including 2014 champion Chase Elliott, who posted the 24th-fastest time in the first practice. Opening practice leader Kyle Busch also stayed off the track in the final session. The XFINITY Series returns is the track on Saturday at 12:15 p.m. ET for Coors Light Pole qualifying with coverage on FOX Sports 1. MORE: READ: Latest NASCAR news PLAY: Sign up for Fantasy Live WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView today FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Second-place result at Las Vegas is Bubba's fifth runner-up finish this year LAS VEGAS -- After Darrell Wallace Jr . climbed from the cockpit of his No. 54 Toyota Tundra following Saturday night’s Rhino Linings 350 Camping World Truck Series race, he walked around the tail of his ride and towards the big patch of grass in the infield of Las Vegas Motor Speedway . Dejected, he looked up, shook his head and let out a big sigh. You'd never have known that he just picked up his best finish at the 1.5-mile track -- second. After leading a race-dominating 84 of 146 laps, Wallace stumbled in lapped traffic and begrudgingly ceded the lead to his Kyle Busch Motorsports teammate Erik Jones , who wound up winning his second race in just nine 2014 starts. "Just got beat; I gave it my all and that was it," said Wallace . "We were OK. We'll rebuild on this. I'm kind of at a loss for words, man. I thought this would be ours. "I was trying my hardest not to let him by. Lapped traffic was big here. We were just a little bit free and this thing would act wicked when you got around other cars and he just got around me, simple as that. I tried to keep it on his door and I just got loose up top. Just got beat." The second-place finish, Wallace's seventh result of either first or second in 17 starts this season, was enough to inch a little bit closer to defending series champion and current points leader Matt Crafton . However, the fellow Toyota driver crossed the start/finish line right behind the 54 for a third-place result, leaving Wallace 33 points behind. "Crafton, still right behind me, for sure, as always," Wallace said, alluding to the fact that the pair finished 2-3 in last week's race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway . Wallace , who said he "ain't worried about (the points race)," doesn't miss the fact that a win for the 18-year-old Jones is good for his organization and did offer his support for his teammate, but that doesn't mean he doesn't wish it was him celebrating Saturday night. "Congrats to Erik and the 51 guys; another KBM dominance for sure," he said. "It was a good race for us. This was a brand new Toyota Tundra and our mile-and-a-half program is turning around; I keep saying that and it's definitely shown. Finally caught some good luck here, just finished one spot short. "It's cool to see a KBM truck win, a Toyota in Victory Lane, but I'm ready to get back in Victory Lane. We're hungry. It's just frustrating." While it's likely little consolation, Crafton knows the feeling. " Darrell and me were talking about it in the elevator, just second and third it's good, don't get me wrong, but it's just aggravating to sit here and finish second," the ThorSport driver said. "I know how he feels. My teammate beat me here about four years ago; passed me right at the end of the race. I know what he's feeling right now. He's probably not going to sleep very well tonight, I can promise you that." Despite the pep talk from his competitor, this one still stings a bit. "It's a bittersweet moment," Wallace said, "but we'll go on to Talladega, go to some (University of Tennessee) games here in the next couple of weeks, relax and get ready for the hell show at Talladega.” 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
Truck Series heads to Las Vegas with four-way battle for title Darrell Wallace Jr . has insisted that he considers "points" a forbidden term in his vocabulary, even as he ventures deeper into the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series championship fight. His goal remains the same as ever: wins, which -- figuratively, at least -- he doesn't consider a four-letter word. Wallace's bid for a third victory this season heads to Las Vegas Motor Speedway this weekend for Saturday night's Rhino Linings 350 (10 p.m. ET, FOX Sports 1), the 17th of 22 races this season. He enters the final stand-alone event of the year at the 1.5-mile track fourth in the series standings, just 35 points back of leader and defending series champion Matt Crafton . While Wallace's three career wins have come at a short tracks (Martinsville, Eldora) and a relatively flat 1.25-mile layout with short-track characteristics (Gateway), he said his Kyle Busch Motorsports team's growth on the intermediate-sized 1.5-mile tracks has been measurable. Strong suits aside, the 20-year-old hasn't strayed from the approach that's brought him success. "I'm excited for Vegas," Wallace said last Sunday after a second-place run at New Hampshire. "Got a brand-new Toyota Tundra going there, and we should be OK, but I'm not worried about the championship. I'll just let the crew worry about that and I'll go out and try to win races." Wallace sits at the back end of a four-driver breakaway atop the standings. Johnny Sauter , Crafton's ThorSport Racing teammate and a winner at Las Vegas in 2009, ranks second with just a seven-point deficit in search of his first title. Ryan Blaney , in his second full season of Camping World Truck Series competition, sits third, just 24 points off the top. After Wallace , it's another 37 points back to fifth-place German Quiroga , another second-year driver who's come oh-so-close to notching his first Truck Series victory. The Mexico native wound up as runner-up to Wallace at Gateway in June by a margin of .329 seconds, then came up short by just .049 seconds -- about a fender -- to Blaney in a thrilling finish last month at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park . To put his name among the championship contenders, Quiroga will have to make strides from his 21st-place finish -- last on the lead lap -- in his Vegas debut last season. "Last year was my first time competing at Las Vegas and we struggled a bit," Quiroga said. "This time around I have a full season under my belt and feel better prepared. I have a lot of friends and family visiting this weekend, so it would be great to capture my first win in front of them." Two other former Vegas winners are scheduled to be in the field: Defending race winner Timothy Peters , Quiroga's Red Horse Racing teammate, and four-time series champion Ron Hornaday Jr ., who returns to the series with NTS Motorsports after a three-race absence. Joe Nemechek , who has 15 starts each in the NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series at the 1.5-mile track, is scheduled to make his first truck start at Las Vegas this weekend. Nemechek, an occasional competitor in all three NASCAR national series this season, will celebrate his 51st birthday Friday. After Las Vegas, the series takes two weeks off before returning Oct. 18 at Talladega Superspeedway . That event kicks off a season-ending stretch of races on five consecutive weekends, culminating with the Nov. 14 finale as part of Ford Championship Weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway . 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
Driver leads 97 laps on way to third victory of season MORE: Full Martinsville results MARTINSVILLE, Va. -- Driving a No. 34 Kyle Busch Motorsports Toyota painted and numbered as a tribute to NASCAR Hall of Fame nominee Wendell Scott -- and with Scott's family in attendance at Martinsville Speedway -- polesitter Darrell Wallace Jr . held off Timothy Peters to win Saturday's Kroger 200 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race. Last year at Martinsville, driving the No. 54 KBM Tundra, Wallace became the first African-American driver to win a race in one of NASCAR's top three touring series since Scott accomplished the feat in what is now the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series on Dec. 1, 1963 at Speedway Park in Jacksonville, Florida. Though his number was changed to 34 on Saturday, in honor of Scott’s traditional car number, the result was the same for Wallace , who grabbed the lead from Johnny Sauter in heavy traffic on Lap 188 of 200, moments before the 11th caution slowed the race. Wallace pulled away after a restart with six laps left, beating Peters to the finish line by .495 seconds. Peters had bumped Sauter out of the way in the closing laps, also opening the door for reigning series champion Matt Crafton , who came home third and extended his series lead to 18 points over fifth-place finisher Ryan Blaney . "I wasn't worried about anybody, honestly," Wallace said. "They kept telling me where everybody was, and I said I didn't care. It's our weekend and we're going to come out and take this (grandfather) clock (trophy) home with us and we just did that. "That was so fun. Martinsville is my favorite place to come to. Without the support of NASCAR and Toyota… the whole Wendell Scott family is here and this is a special moment, just a perfect weekend for us. It's a true honor to have Wendell Scott on our Toyota Tundra and to be able to put it in Victory Lane. I know he (Scott) just said up there, 'Hell yeah.' This is cool." Wallace said Saturday's win surpassed his first victory in the series at Martinsville a year ago. "It means a lot -- I know I had a guardian angel looking over me this weekend," said Wallace , who took over third place in the series standings, 22 points behind Crafton. "To be able to put it in Victory Lane, you couldn't ask for a better weekend. You thought last year was special, but this definitely beats it." Upset with what he deemed roughhouse tactics from Peters, Sauter attempt to confront the runner-up on pit road after the race, but NASCAR officials and crew members kept the drivers apart. "It's Martinsville," Peters said. "If you're going to dish it out, you're going to need to be able to take it. Did I mean to run into him? Yeah. I'm not going to deny that -- maybe not as hard. "But it is what it is. I don't want to waste too much of my breath on that. We'll just focus on how well we ran today…" Wallace led 97 of the 200 laps. Second was the pace car, which was out front for a record 71 laps during a race that featured more rookies than veterans and six drivers competing in the series for the first time. Erik Jones ran fourth, followed by Blaney, Tyler Reddick , Sauter, Matt Tifft (a UNC-Charlotte freshman making his first start) Alex Guenette and German Quiroga, whose ill-fated attempt to take the lead in heavy traffic on Lap 188 caused his No. 77 Toyota to spin and brought out the 11th caution, solidifying Wallace in the lead. The series now heads to Texas Motor Speedway next weekend for Friday's Winstar World Casino and Resort 350 (8:30 p.m. ET, FS1). 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