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Wallace Jr. wins Kroger 200 at Martinsville
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
Kroger 200 entry list
See which drivers will compete as the series returns to Martinsville RELATED: Play NASCAR Fantasy Live " Sign up for RaceView today Entry # Driver Owner Crew chief Manufacturer Sponsor 1 00 Cole Custer Gene Haas Joe Shear 14 Chevrolet Haas Automation 2 0 Matt Tifft Kenneth Grimes Michael Stewart 13 Chevrolet TBA 3 02 Tyler Young Randy Young Bryan Berry 14 Chevrolet Randco/Young's Building Systems 4 05 John Wes Townley Tony Townley Mike Beam 14 Toyota Zaxby's 5 6 Norm Benning Norm Benning Kevin Dargie 14 Chevrolet TBA 6 07 B J McLeod Ken Smith Doug Weddle 13 Chevrolet TBA 7 08 Camden Murphy Bobby Dotter Jason Miller 13 Chevrolet TBA 8 8 John Hunter Nemechek Sidney Mauldin Jerry Babb 14 Toyota TBD 9 9 Brennan Newberry Joe Denette Ryan McKinney 14 Chevrolet Qore-24 10 10 Jennifer Jo Cobb Jennifer Jo Cobb Steve Kuykendall 12 RAM Driven2Honor.org 11 13 Jeb Burton Duke Thorson Jeriod Prince 14 Toyota Estes-Carolina Nut Company 12 115 Mason Mingus Billy Boat Ben Leslie 14 Chevrolet 811 Call Before You Dig 13 17 Timothy Peters Tom Deloach Marcus Richmond II 14 Toyota Red Horse Racing 14 19 Tyler Reddick Brad Keselowski Doug Randolph 14 Ford Broken Bow Records 15 20 Gray Gaulding Bob Newberry Chris Rice 14 Chevrolet Gemini Southern / Krispy Kreme 16 21 Joey Coulter Maurice Gallagher Jr Jeff Stankiewicz 14 Chevrolet Allegiant Travel 17 23 Max Gresham Maurice Gallagher Jr Ryan London 14 Chevrolet AmWins Group, Inc. 18 29 Ryan Blaney Brad Keselowski Chad Kendrick 14 Ford Cooper Standard 19 31 Ben Kennedy Steve Turner Doug George 14 Chevrolet Heater.com 20 32 Alex Guenette Harry Scott Jr Mike Hillman Jr 14 Chevrolet MOTORS ILLIMITEES 21 133 Brandon Jones Maurice Gallagher Jr Shane Huffman 14 Chevrolet TBA 22 35 TBA Kevin Cywinski Mark Rette 14 Toyota TBA 23 50 T J Bell Mark Beaver Tim Sliva 14 Chevrolet TBA 24 51 Erik Jones Kyle Busch Eric Phillips 14 Toyota ToyotaCare 25 54 Darrell Wallace Jr Kyle Busch Jerry Baxter 14 Toyota 2015 NASCAR Hall of Fame Inductee Wendell Scott 26 63 Justin Jennings Michael Mittler Michael Mittler 14 Chevrolet Mittler Bros Machine & Tool/LG Seeds/Ski Soda 27 74 Wendell Chavous Mike Harmon TBA 13 Chevrolet Vydox 28 175 Caleb Holman Charles Henderson Darrell Holman 14 Chevrolet Food Country USA-Gain Flings-Lopez Wealth Mgmt. 29 77 German Quiroga Tom Deloach Butch Hylton 14 Toyota OtterBox 30 180 Jody Knowles Tracy Wallace Wayne Hansard 09 Ford Clayton Signs, Inc. 31 182 Cody Erickson John Corr Michael Cheek 13 Ford Performance Auto 32 186 Brandon Brown Jerry Brown Adam Brenner 13 Chevrolet Willmar Concrete Pumping 33 187 Charles Buchanan Jr Charles Buchanan Jr Craig Wood 13 Ford Spring Drug 34 88 Matt Crafton Rhonda Thorson Carl Joiner 14 Toyota Ideal Door/Menards 35 92 Austin Hill Ricky Benton Michael Hester 14 Ford BTS Tire/ Goodyear Fleet HQ/ Wynns 36 98 Johnny Sauter Mike Curb Jeff Hensley 14 Toyota Smokey Mountain/Curb Records 37 99 Bryan Silas Chris Baluch Cal Boprey 14 Chevrolet TBA MORE: READ: Latest Chase news PLAY: Monitor your Chase Grid Game picks WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView
Post-Race Reactions: Kroger 200
The top finishers and championship contenders comment on a wild day of racing and the standings heading into Texas.
Ross Kenseth to make Truck Series debut at Martinsville
Photo credit: Fuel SMG Ross Kenseth is set to make his NASCAR Camping World Truck Series debut Oct. 31 at Martinsville Speedway in the Kroger 200 (1:30 p.m. ET, FS1, MRN, SiriusXM). Kenseth, the 22-year-old son of Sprint Cup Series regular Matt Kenseth , is scheduled to drive the Hattori Racing Enterprises No. 18 Toyota later this month in the Kroger 200 . The Shigeaki Hattori-owned team, which will attempt to make just its second truck series start, will be under the direction of veteran general manager Pat Tryson. Should Kenseth qualify for the 32-truck field, the event will mark just his second NASCAR national series start. Kenseth posted a sixth-place finish in his XFINITY Series debut at Chicagoland Speedway in June. "Shige and I have tried to put something together for a long time and finally all of the pieces fell into place," said Kenseth, who met with media Tuesday as he put the No. 18 through its paces at Martinsville. "I'm thankful to him for this opportunity and am looking forward to working hard to make our debut a successful one in a couple of weeks." Kenseth recorded his first major victory in the ARCA Series in June at Michigan International Speedway .
Matt Crafton wins at Martinsville
RELATED: Full race results MARTINSVILLE, Va. -- Those who were delivering a post-mortem to Matt Crafton 's hopes for a third straight NASCAR Camping World Truck Series title after last weekend's race at Talladega learned on Saturday that the lid on the coffin is far from nailed shut. Crafton survived five restarts in the final 50 laps of Saturday's Kroger 200 at Martinsville Speedway and won the race by .396 seconds over John Hunter Nemechek , who shoved third-place finisher Cameron Hayley out of the way after a restart with two laps left to secure the runner-up position. With his fifth victory of the season, his second at the .526-mile short track and the 10th of his career, Crafton chopped 13 points off the series lead of Erik Jones , who struggled throughout the afternoon and came home 10th. Crafton moved into second place in the standings, 10 points behind Jones with three races left in the season. Fifth-place finisher Tyler Reddick is third in points, 13 behind Jones. Crafton grabbed the lead from Nemechek after a restart on Lap 137 of 200 and held it the rest of the way. Polesitter Cole Custer , who ran fourth, led a race-high 96 laps but wasn't able to regain the top spot after suffering a pit road speeding penalty under caution on Lap 124. For Crafton, though, the race was a dramatic turnaround after a late wreck a week earlier at Talladega dropped him to 24th at the finish, third in the standings and seemingly out of touch with Jones. But the misfortune at NASCAR's longest oval turned on a dime at one of the sport's shortest. "We've had a very trying last two months, but to get back to Victory Lane is awesome," Crafton said. "These guys (his No. 88 ThorSport Toyota team) just never give up. We weren't that great on the short run, but like I said, I never give up on these guys. They keep fine-tuning and fine-tuning. "The second-to-last run, we just got really tight, for whatever reason, but (crew chief) Junior (Joiner) called an audible, made a little change there, and the thing was good. I just had to pace myself and save enough tires for the end of the race." Jones felt his Kyle Busch Motorsports team simply missed the setup for the race. "It was just a fight all day," said Jones, whose handling issues were compounded by a soft brake pedal. "We missed it a little bit as an organization. I think it showed we were off most of the day for the three trucks (including the Toyotas of 16th-place Daniel Suarez and 21st-place Gray Gaulding ). "We'll work on it and get it better." Ross Kenseth, son of 2003 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Matt Kenseth , finished 17th in his Truck Series debut. Austin Cindric, son of Team Penske president Tim Cindric, had a strong top-10 run going in his maiden race in the series before running afoul of a three-wide wreck on the backstretch with eight laps left. After the crash, Cindric came home 25th, the last driver on the lead lap. The race featured 12 cautions, four short of the event record.
Eldora star Bobby Pierce goes for second Truck start
MARTINSVILLE, Va. -- Bobby Pierce has made countless dirt-track starts in his career, thanks to the barnstorming nature of Late Model racing. But when asked how many appearances he's made on paved speedways, the answer is also countless, but in a quizzical way. "About four to five races," Pierce says with a half-grin, recalling his handful of trips to asphalt tracks. Pierce, best remembered among the NASCAR crowd for his dirt-slinging performance this summer at Eldora Speedway , will attempt to change his answer to "about five or six" with his first NASCAR Camping World Truck Series start on asphalt in Saturday's Kroger 200 (1:30 p.m. ET, FOX Sports 1, MRN, SiriusXM). He got his first taste of racing trucks on pavement in Friday's two practices, placing 30th and 29th on the afternoon leaderboards. "It's completely different, especially for a dirt driver," Pierce said after Friday's first practice session. "There's just a lot of things that you're kind of molded into that you've got to throw out the window. I'm just trying to take all those experiences that I've had in other asphalt cars and apply it to this." Pierce first wowed NASCAR fans on Eldora's dirt half-mile, taking his tattered No. 63 truck to a hard-fought, second-place finish in his series debut behind eventual winner Christopher Bell . He led 39 of 154 laps for underdog MB Motorsports, handing team owner Mike Mittler his best finish in his two decades in the series. The 18-year-old Pierce -- a native of Oakwood, Illinois -- said he still has the race saved on his DVR for the sake of posterity. Though he didn't hoist the golden shovel in Victory Lane, his feverish battle with Bell down the stretch raised the profile for both himself and the team. "I don't know, though -- finishing second in a Truck race whether it's dirt or asphalt, it's still a NASCAR truck race and when I was a little kid, you dreamed of doing stuff like this," Pierce said. "I don't think it'll really ever sink in to the full potential that it can, but I'll try." For Mittler, it was only natural that he would turn again to the driver who nearly snared the MB organization's first victory. "That's exactly what the feeling is with us that a guy that can drive, he can drive and it doesn't matter if it's dirt or asphalt," Mittler said. "Did we have the home-track advantage at Eldora? Sure we did. He's got tons of dirt experience, been driving dirt since he could almost walk, so we knew. We had no delusions that we were going to come here and run top-five right off the bat. By the end of the race, he'll be good. I know he will be. Experience is all it is." The spotlight has shown brightly on Eldora in its three-year affiliation with NASCAR, but at Martinsville, Pierce has a chance to grab more time in the public eye on a shared stage with the Sprint Cup Series. It's the next step toward potentially extending his relationship with MB Motorsports in 2016, a partnership Mittler hopes can continue. "There's nothing firm yet, but we're absolutely looking at what the options are and we really like Bobby, his family, Bob and Angie," Mittler said. "Just a great, great group of people who come from a parallel background in the Midwest with us -- a hard-working family race team, so there's just a lot of synergy between us. If we can figure out how to make it work, we're going to do it."
Hayley: 'John Hunter's got it coming to him'
John Hunter Nemechek and Cameron Hayley were each pleased with their top-three efforts Saturday at Martinsville Speedway . With each other? Not so much. As far as post-race confrontations go in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, the face-to-face meeting between the NASCAR Next products on pit road was fairly mild, short though not so sweet. Nemechek came away with a runner-up finish behind winner Matt Crafton , and Hayley enjoyed a career-best third place in the Kroger 200 , but there were indications that their late-race contact could have implications later in the season. "The racing got really rough out there. John Hunter's got it coming to him here later in Phoenix," Hayley said after emerging from his ThorSport Racing No. 13 Toyota. "There's no reason why he should just drive into someone that hard, but I guess it's short-track racing and just great run for us." Nemechek bulled past Hayley on a restart with two laps to go, nudging to the inside groove in Turn 3 just before the white flag unfurled. Nemechek said he received Hayley's warning loud and clear in their brief post-race talk, but indicated that watching a replay would help him understand the contact. "It's part of racing. It's good, hard racing and good, hard battling," said Nemechek, who added that he was being pushed from behind during the two-lap dash to the end. "Earlier in the race, he moved me, so he had one coming back to him." Aside from the abbreviated dust-up, there were plenty of shared positives. Hayley started second alongside pole-sitter Cole Custer , and Nemechek started third. Both spent the duration of the day in the top five, within sight of early leader Custer and late-race dominator Crafton. For Nemechek, it marked his fourth top-five finish in his last five races, including his breakthrough win in Chicagoland. For Hayley, his third straight top-10 in his rookie campaign kept him sixth in the series standings. "It just seemed like the one truck in front of us was just a little bit faster when it counted, and we'd be faster over those long runs, and we just could never quite get there, but I couldn't be happier to run top-three all weekend," Hayley said. "It's something I've only dreamed about, so I'm really proud of this team." Said Nemechek: "Everyone was hitting each other, moving each other. It's great to come home second, and I can't thank all my guys enough."
Peters sweeps Truck practices at Martinsville
Practice 2 recap " Practice 2 results Timothy Peters led the final Camping World Truck Series practice at Martinsville Speedway on Friday, sweeping the series' practice sessions for the weekend's event. The Red Horse Racing driver closed out the Truck practice sessions with a high speed of 96.083 mph. Cameron Hayley came in as second-fastest at 96.063 mph. Tyler Young (95.453 mph), Daniel Suarez (95.319 mph) and Cole Custer (95.285 mph) completed the top-five fastest on the leaderboard. Peters, Matt Crafton and Johnny Sauter are the only previous Martinsville winners in this weekend's field. Sauter was ninth-fastest (95.180 mph) and two-time Truck champ Crafton was 21st-fastest (94.073). Austin Cindric and Ross Kenseth are both attempting to make their Truck Series debuts at Martinsville. Kenseth was 11th-fastest (95.084 mph) and Cindric was 15th-fastest (94.675 mph). The Camping World Truck Series returns to the track for qualifying at 10:15 a.m. ET Saturday on FS1 ahead of the Kroger 200 (1:30 p.m. ET, FS1). Practice 1 recap " Practice 1 results Timothy Peters led the opening Camping World Truck Series practice at Martinsville Speedway on Friday. The Red Horse Racing driver started off the first session with a high speed of 96.020 mph. Peters also won last weekend's event at Talladega Superspeedway . Two-time Truck Series champ Matt Crafton came in as second-fastest at 95.752 mph. Cameron Hayley (95.612 mph), Spencer Gallagher (95.218) and Brandon Jones (94.775 mph) completed the top-five fastest on the leaderboard. Defending race winner Darrell Wallace Jr . is not running in this year's race, as he is now a regular in the XFINITY Series. Peters, Crafton and Johnny Sauter are the only previous Martinsville winners in this weekend's field. Sauter was sixth-fastest (94.397 mph). The Camping World Truck Series returns to the track for the final practice session at 2:30 p.m. ET before Saturday's Kroger 200 (1:30 p.m. ET, FOX Sports 1).
Custer wins 21 Means 21 Pole at Martinsville
RELATED: Full qualifying results Cole Custer earned his third, and first for the 2015 season, 21 Means 21 Pole of his NASCAR Camping World Truck Series career at Martinsville Speedway after topping the qualifying leaderboard with a fastest lap of 96.959 mph. Joining Custer's No. 00 on the front row is the No. 13 ThorSport Racing Toyota of Cameron Hayley (96.504 mph). The No. 8 of John Hunter Nemechek will start on the second row after qualifying third as he brought his Chevrolet around the .526-mile track at a fastest lap of 96.224 mph. The No. 19 of Tyler Reddick (96.141 mph) and the No. 14 of Daniel Hemric (96.024 mph) rounded out the top five. The green flag for the Kroger 200 ( 200 laps, 105.2 miles) is set for 1:30 p.m. ET (FS1, MRN, Sirius XM).
Austin Cindric to make NASCAR debut at Martinsville
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – NASCAR Camping World Truck Series team owner Brad Keselowski announced Tuesday that Austin Cindric will drive the team's No. 29 Cooper Standard-sponsored Ford in this weekend’s Kroger 200 at Martinsville Speedway . "Obviously we want to see Austin Theriault back in the truck as soon as possible," Keselowski said. … "We've had an opportunity to shuffle the deck, not the way we wanted it to come. … That truck is the truck that won in the spring so it's a tremendous opportunity for Austin.” Cindric, 17, will be making his NASCAR debut. The Columbus, Ohio native has two career ARCA starts. "I've never been to Martinsville so it'll be a whole new experience," Cindric said in a release provided by the team. "I'll just take it lap by lap and absorb as much information as possible. I just need to make sure I gain the respect of the competitors because I'm new to the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. I have no expectations. I'll just take what the weekend brings me and go from there." The move became necessary after Austin Theriault , who had made eight starts in the entry, was injured in a crash at Las Vegas Motor Speedway earlier this month. Brian Keselowski , brother of the team owner, handled the driving duties last weekend at Talladega Superspeedway , leading 10 laps before finishing 17th. Brad Keselowski , Ryan Blaney , Joey Logano and Alex Tagliani have also made starts in the No. 29 this season. The organization also fields the No. 19 Ford for driver Tyler Reddick , who enters this weekend's race second in points.