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
Dillon, Suarez both looking for first Iowa win RELATED: Practice 2 results After running fourth in Friday's first practice, Ty Dillon topped the leaderboard in the second practice with an impressive fastest lap of 133.012 mph in 23.682 seconds. The No. 3 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet completed a total of 67 laps for the session. NASCAR XFINITY Series veteran Brendan Gaughan was second on the leaderboard for Friday's final practice session with his No. 62 Chevrolet coming in hot with a fastest lap of 132.704 mph in 23.737 seconds. T.J. Bell rounded out the top three with a lap of 131.871 mph (23.887 seconds). This weekend will mark the first time Bell has lined up for a NASCAR XFINITY Series race since 2012's AAA 400 at Dover International Speedway. Next on the leaderboard was Drew Herring in his No. 6 Ford. Herring had a fastest lap of 131.519 mph (23.951). This will be his first NASCAR XFINITY appearance since 2013's Ford EcoBoost 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. And completing the top five for this session was Brian Scott in his No. 2 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet with a lap of 131.403 mph. Daniel Suarez , who topped the first practice, finished ninth in the Friday night's practice (131.026 mph). The No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing driver will be on the lookout for his fourth consecutive top-five finish this weekend at Iowa Speedway. Kenny Wallace , who will be competing in his last race in the series this weekend at Iowa, finished 15th. Wallace is looking for his 10th career win at Saturday's U.S. Cellular Presented by New Holland (8 p.m. ET, NBCSN, SiriusXM). NXS action continues Saturday with the Coors Light Pole Qualifying at 4:45 p.m. ET. RELATED: Practice 1 results Daniel Suarez topped the leaderboard in the NASCAR XFINITY Series opening practice on Friday at Iowa Speedway. The driver of the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota posted a fastest lap of 133.367 mph. Next was fellow rookie Brandon Jones in his No. 33 Chevrolet with a fastest lap of 131.965 mph. Saturday's U.S. Cellular 250 Presented by New Holland marks Jones' second start in the XFINITY Series. His first race was at Iowa’s May race, the 3M 250 , where he finished eighth. Rounding out the first session's top three was Ben Rhodes . Rhodes had a fastest lap of 131.744 mph. Ty Dillon (131.546 mph) and Darrell Wallace Jr . (131.486 mph) came in fourth and fifth, respectively. XFINITY Series points leader, Chris Buescher finished practice in the seventh spot, posting a fastest lap of 130.332 mph. Johanna Long , finished 30th in the first session. This is Long's first 2015 appearance as she hasn't raced since 2013's Ford EcoBoost 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. On-track action continues at 7 p.m. ET with the NASCAR XFINITY Series final practice on NBCSN. 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
Darrell Wallace Jr . has words with Chris Buescher's crew chief, Scott Graves and Ryan Reed shoves Ross Chastain following the U.S. Cellular 250 in Iowa.
Ryan Reed post-race: 'I told him we can race like that and I'm totally fine' NEWTON, Iowa -- What opened up as a reasonably clean, meandering NASCAR XFINITY Series race turned into a regular Saturday night showdown, a swashbuckling smashfest in three acts that left bruises on fenders and egos alike at Iowa Speedway. After traveling 205 of an overtime 260 laps with a harmless three caution periods, short-track bedlam erupted in the late stages, potentially re-opening an old rift between teammates, ruffling the feathers of the defending series champion and sparking a post-race shove further back in the pack. The earliest sign that the U.S. Cellular 250 would not go quietly into the good Iowa night came with 21 laps left in regulation, when reigning champ Chase Elliott tangled with rookie Brandon Jones on the frontstretch in a contest for sixth place. Elliott, already frustrated by his late fade as the only front-runner to make a two-tire stop in the last exchange, keyed his radio to tell his JR Motorsports crew: "I'm pretty upset right now. That's all I'm going to say." Told that Jones accepted full blame over the his own radio, Elliott replied: "Yeeeeppp. They can tell that to the points tally." Jones was apologetic again after the race, telling NASCAR.com that he felt he was clear as he slid up the race track on the exit of Turn 4. He said he didn't have a chance to issue an apology in person with ninth-place finisher Elliott after the race. "I think he probably went back to his hauler, but I'll get back up with him (later) and try to explain what happened, for sure," said Jones, who finished 20th in just his second XFINITY start. "Me and Chase are really good friends and I didn't mean for that to happen, but can't do anything now about it. We'll go to the next one." The next one in terms of post-race flare-ups should make for another interesting team meeting this week at Roush Fenway Racing . Points leader Chris Buescher and teammate Bubba Wallace , who locked horns in May at Dover International Speedway, collided again with two laps left, pushing the race into overtime. Wallace , damaged in an earlier incident with Erik Jones entering pit road, caught the worst of it with fellow teammate Ryan Reed and the retiring Kenny Wallace sliding behind him in the aftermath. Wallace dismounted from his No. 6 Ford post-race, exchanged words with Buescher's crew chief Scott Graves, and leaned in to Buescher's window for a succinct post-race talk. "I think he said, 'good job.' I just grabbed him really quick," Wallace said. "We screwed up so bad in this race. It was miserable. I let my guys down. I got into Erik there on pit road and that put us in a corner. Just hate it, man. I screwed up tonight. Just paying for it." Asked about any potential tension within the Roush ranks, Wallace smiled and shrugged: "He's racing. We're racing hard. That's it. Nothing to it. I just told him good job and we'll go to Watkins Glen." Buescher, the winner here at the .875-mile track in May, was aiming for a rare Iowa season sweep, but on the first green-white-checkered attempt that followed, his No. 60 was heavily damaged by the sliding car of Brennan Poole . He limped home to a 13th-place finish, two spots behind Wallace , but retained his lead in the XFINITY standings. "Our guys did a heck of a job and we brought back a heck of a car to Iowa and we should've been in really good contention for this thing," Buescher said. "You know, it's just tough. We had so many restarts there late. Guys are just, they're tough -- just dive-bomb it in there and it's tough." Pressed for specifics about his contact with Wallace , Buescher declined to tell: "I'm not talking about that one. … Nope. Nothing to say." Caught in part of the crossfire was Reed, who soldiered to a 19th-place finish and had fireworks of his own to come. In trying to assess the hard-nosed racing between Buescher and Wallace , he said he felt certain the issues would be resolved in time. "They're both great drivers and I have a lot of respect for both of them and get along with both of 'em. I can't really get in the middle of it, but at the same time, I understand how it can be racing teammates," Reed said. "You want to run everyone as hard as you can, just seems, like you said, they're magnets and I'm not sure why it's like that. They're both great drivers, I have a lot of respect for them, and I'm sure they'll get through it." Reed's issues weren't over, though, as his No. 16 Ford scraped across the start-finish line in 19th-place at the checkered flag. Very little cool-down happened on the cool-down lap, with Reed marching over to the No. 4 Chevrolet and giving its driver, Ross Chastain , a swift shove. "There were a lot of wrecks there at the end. It's part of short-track racing," Reed said. "My getting at the 4, like I said in my other interview, it's kind of the pot calling the kettle black because I got into the 20 ( Kenny Wallace ), but the 20 was very unintentional. I just went up to the 4 and he just flat-out told me, 'Hey man, it was a green-white-checkered,' so I have a hard time with that. I have a really hard time with going in there and just intentionally banzai-ing someone and punting them out of the way. It's fine. I told him we can race like that and I'm totally fine with that." Chastain claimed said he wanted to see video of the incident before making a judgment call. "I haven't seen a replay yet, so I can't say too much. I don't want to because I don't want to overstep what I don't know," Chastain told NASCAR.com. "What I remember -- and it might be completely wrong -- is I got to the bottom of (Turn) 1 and the 16 was right outside of me. I thought we were pretty low on the race track and we might've gotten together a little bit. It looks like there's a little mark on my fender, and I just got by him and there was mayhem and chaos everywhere. I don't know. Until I see a replay, I don't know. "Me and him have raced hard all year. It's good for us that we're racing against guys like that because people think we shouldn't be, but we are. When we come to a track like Iowa, we can show what this team's made out of. I'm proud of my guys. I hate it that he got torn up, but I didn't feel like I was too in the wrong, but I'll have to watch a replay to see." 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.