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
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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
Driver is free to look for ride elsewhere
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 videobombs Ryan Blaney giving an interview during a rain delay of the NCWTS qualifying session at Chicagoland Speedway.
Darrell Wallace Jr . talks to NASCAR Illustrated's Steven Levine about his 1967 Volkswagon Beetle.
Jones, Boston, Tifft, Suarez tabbed for rides along with team owner Busch HOMESTEAD, Fla. -- The 2015 driver lineup for Kyle Busch Motorsports is complete, with the organization announcing its Camping World Truck Series roster via press release Friday. A week after announcing Erik Jones would compete full-time in one of the team’s entries, officials announced the remaining drivers for what will now be a three-truck effort next season. Justin Boston will likewise run a full schedule for KBM while Matt Tifft , owner Kyle Busch and Joe Gibbs Racing XFINITY Series driver Daniel Suarez will share driving duties in a third KBM entry. "Being able to drive full-time … next season is definitely going to be a big step in my career," Boston, 25, said. "KBM builds really fast (trucks) and I know that I’m going to be in a position to win races next -- as a driver, that's all you can ask for." Boston made two starts this year for JGR in what will be known as the XFINITY Series in '15, finishing ninth and 12th. Tifft's road to the series has included stops in ARCA and NASCAR’s K&N East and West programs. Friday night’s start in the Ford EcoBoost 200 at Homestead was his third this year in the Truck Series. He is scheduled to make six starts with KBM next year while Suarez is tabbed for 10 or more, as well as a full XFINITY schedule. If that's indeed the case, then it appears Busch will be cutting back his appearances in the series. The Sprint Cup Series driver made 10 starts this season, winning seven times. Busch said the addition of Boston and Tifft "gives us the opportunity to compete for the Rookie of the Year honors with Justin, a driver's championship with Erik and the owner's championship sharing a truck between Matt, myself and Daniel. "Justin was able to pick up a couple of ARCA wins this season and had solid runs in his starts for JGR in the Nationwide Series," he said. "Matt knocked on the door of victory a couple times in the ARCA Series while running a part-time schedule and had a nice run in his Truck Series debut at Martinsville last month." Toyota's Dave Wilson, president and general manager, TRD, U.S.A., said the expansion of KBM "demonstrates the strength of the organization and their commitment to bringing young talent into NASCAR." "The success that youngsters Erik Jones and Darrell Wallace Jr . have had this year … has certainly been fun to watch. KBM is a great team partner of Toyota, they helped us win another manufacturer championship this year and they visited Victory Lane a record-setting 14 times in 2014." Wallace , who won for the fourth time this year with Friday's race, won't return to KBM next season, but is expected to compete in the XFINITY Series for JGR. "I wish things were finalized," Wallace said afterward. "We're continuing to work hard to find out future plans for me. I'm going to go play some golf down here in Miami, enjoy this win, (and) enjoy the offseason. But as far as plans, we're continuing to work hard. "You never know, we could be in the XFINITY Series, get some truck races. You never know, we're working hard with … everybody at JGR; they've been giving me a great opportunity ever since '09, so we'll continue to -- hopefully this helps some way, but we'll stay on it and come up with something soon, I hope." "Him being a JGR driver, we were just fielding those trucks for him in the last two years, so it's been fun to help him grow," Busch said, noting that his organization is focused on grooming talent in order for it to move forward. "Heck, I think now it's about two thirds of our people head on over to JGR anyway, so I'm about ready to call that place KBM South," he said. 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
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