Darrell Wallace Jr. heads to Roush Fenway Racing
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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Steve Byrnes honored with Squier-Hall Award
RELATED: Steve Byrnes passes away at 56 CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The NASCAR Hall of Fame honored late broadcaster Steve Byrnes on Saturday at the weather-delayed induction ceremony at the Charlotte Convention Center. His son Bryson accepted the Squier‑Hall Award for NASCAR Media Excellence earlier this afternoon at the NASCAR Hall of Fame on behalf of his father, who passed away from cancer in April. "This day is about those who paved the way in our sport," FOX Sports broadcaster Krista Voda said during Byrnes' introduction. "Each of us has a person, the one who guided us, who gave us a blueprint. Steve Byrnes was my person, my mentor, my friend. In April, Steve lost his courageous battle with cancer but not before serving as an inspiration to the entire NASCAR community." The Squier-Hall award is named in honor of legendary broadcasters Ken Squier and Barney Hall and has been presented to influential members of NASCAR media for the past three years. Byrnes' wife, Karen, and son, Bryson, were among the many family members present at the induction ceremony. "Just be nice to others," Bryson Byrnes said on lessons his father taught him. "You know, just enjoy what you do, have a great attitude while doing it, and just always going full out when you do do something, and do what you love, and when you do do it, just do it with a heart and a passion of doing it." RELATED: Through the years photo gallery Drivers Darrell Wallace Jr . and Dale Earnhardt Jr . were among those to tweet tributes and remebrances of Byrnes after Saturday's ceremonies at the NASCAR Hall of Fame. I often delete pics but this one has always been in the bank. It's a constant reminder of how great he was! pic.twitter.com/56sgTqRA8A — Darrell Wallace Jr (@BubbaWallace) January 23, 2016 One of the best EVER to cover the sport. Steve Byrnes honored with the Squier-Hall Award for NASCAR Media Excellence @NASCARHall today. — Dale Earnhardt Jr . (@DaleJr) January 23, 2016
#TBT: Steve Park and Junior crash at Pocono
2002 wreck mirrors Austin's Daytona crash, Rusty Wallace involved, too Austin Dillon 's much-talked about Daytona crash paralleled to a wreck from more than a decade ago in Pocono, with both crashes involving Dale Earnhardt Jr . In 2002, Steve Park was lining up with his competition at Pocono Raceway for the Pennsylvania 500, hoping to snag his second top-10 at the track. Park never did see a top-10 finish that day. In fact, he didn't even complete the first lap thanks to a nasty wreck involving Park, Rusty Wallace and Dale Earnhardt Jr . between Turn 1 and 2. The accident was initially sparked by NASCAR Hall of Famer Wallace . Wallace's No. 2 Team Penske Ford hit the wall after the first turn. Park tried to avoid making contact with the spinning Ford and attempted to move sideways. In his quest to dodge out of Wallace's path, he came into contact with teammate, Dale Earnhardt Jr . Dale Jr. got under Park's No. 1 Chevrolet causing both cars to spin onto the grass. While on the grass, Park slammed into an interior guardrail, flipping the car over violently, multiple times. Similar to his reaction to Dilllon's crash, Dale Jr. was concerned about Park's well-being as it took safety workers some time to help him out of his upside-down vehicle. RELATED: 88 crew recalls frenzy to check on Dillon When Junior was able to get out of his own car, he sprinted over to check on his teammate. Not only was it difficult getting Park out of his car, but it led to a 65-minute red-flag caution with repairs to the interior barrier having to take place before the field could go back to green. Park, like Austin Dillon , walked away from the crash just fine and headed to the infield care center arm-in-arm with Junior.
Bubba Wallace , Ryan Reed swap crew chiefs for Mid-ohio
Roush Fenway Racing drivers Darrell "Bubba" Wallace and Ryan Reed have exchanged crew chiefs as well as crews and will being working with their new personnel beginning with this weekend’s NASCAR XFINITY Series race at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Complex. Chad Norris, previously crew chief for Reed, will move over to head up Wallace's effort in the No. 6 entry while Seth Barbour, formerly with Wallace , will take over the reins of the No. 16 Ford team. Roush Fenway Racing , co-owned by Jack Roush and Boston Red Sox owner John Henry, fields four full-time NASCAR XFINITY Series teams, as well as three full-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams. Chris Buescher , the organization's third NXS driver, currently leads the series points standings after 20 events. His group, led by crew chief Scott Graves, was not affected by Tuesday’s moves. Wallace , competing for Sunoco Rookie of the Year Award honors, is sixth in points with one top-five and seven top-10 finishes this season. He is a five-time winner in the Camping World Truck Series and has 26 starts in the XFINITY Series. Barbour has one career win as a crew chief in the series, with he and Reed going to victory lane in the season-opening event at Daytona International Raceway. Norris has three career wins in NXS competition -- with drivers Matt Kenseth (2005), Marcos Ambrose ('11) and Bayne ('11). The 2015 season is the second full-time effort for Reed, who has 59 career starts and one victory. He is currently 10th in points. Norris "has a successful history working with several different drivers of all experience levels and we are excited to see Ryan … continue to develop under his guidance," RFR President Steve Newmark said. "At the same time Seth Barbour provides tremendous engineering experience to all of our XFINITY Series programs and will bring great leadership to Bubba Wallace ." Newmark said team co-owner Jack Roush "has a history of similar moves, and we have experienced a great deal of success in the past with these types of adjustments. We feel this will provide both teams with renewed energy as we enter the stretch run of the season." Sprint Cup drivers for the RFR group are veteran Greg Biffle , 2011 Daytona 500 champion Trevor Bayne and two-time XFINITY Series champion Ricky Stenhouse Jr . Saturday's Nationwide Children's Hospital 200 (NBCSN, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR) is scheduled for a 3:30 p.m. ET start.
Rusty Wallace set to hit the road at Daytona
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- NASCAR Hall of Famer Rusty Wallace has hoisted the sport's biggest trophies and competed on its largest stages. And this week at Daytona International Speedway the former stock car champion will be bringing his A-game again competing against some of sports car racing’s best in the Ferrari Finali Mondiali. It is the first time this renowned Ferrari event has been held in the United States and both Wallace and the Speedway are eager to be a part of this internationally famed race weekend. "We're really excited," Daytona International Speedway President Chip Wile said. "It's all coming together now, the trucks are moving in today. We had the car show last weekend. It's been really exciting to see all this come together in the last couple weeks, but we've been working on it since April. "It's the first time this event has ever been hosted in North America and what better place than the International Center of Racing and the new Daytona International Speedway , the world's only motorsports stadium. It feels like a fitting backdrop for one of the premier Ferrari events in the world." Wallace won't just be representing NASCAR by his presence, he's going to compete – driving for the Risi Competizione/Ferrari of Houston team in the North America series of the Ferrari Challenge Trofeo Pirelli. To prepare, the 1989 NASCAR premier series champion spent two days testing the Risi Ferrari at America's current Formula One venue, Circuit of the Americas (COTA) in Austin, Texas. And he’ll have opportunity to test on the Daytona road course before the weekend’s race. "I'm really serious about it and will do best job I can in the time I've got," Wallace said. "This will be real exciting and the team I'm driving for just won the Petit LeMans. "I'm looking forward to it. It's going to be a lot of fun. I could have just showed up at Daytona. … but I didn't want to look stupid that's why I went to Austin, to get to know the car and know the team." This will be the second time Wallace has competed on Daytona's 3.56-mile road course. He co-drove as part of a team with Danica Patrick in the 2006 Rolex 24 at Daytona, but their sports car had a mechanical failure and did not finish the event. Wallace is optimistic and he has plenty of reason. He is long considered one of NASCAR's premier road racers. He earned two poles and two wins (1990 and 1996) at Sonoma and a pole and a pair of wins (1987 and 1989) at Watkins Glen, N.Y. He also scored back-to-back wins (1987-88) at the Riverside road course that’s no longer on the circuit. "I had really good success at Riverside, Watkins Glen and Sonoma , those were all good tracks for me," Wallace said. "So I told them, 'sure,' I'd love to come down and have some fun "I'm a Ferrari lover. When I found out I was going to compete, I said, I've got to get all right with this. So I spoke with (driver) Max Papis and he shared a couple things. The big deal was actually getting some time in a car before Daytona." The Ferrari Finali Mondiali, which Wallace will compete in, is a four-day World Championship event featuring Ferrari Challenge teams from the Europe, North American and Asia Pacific series. Additionally, fans will be treated to the displays of historic Formula One cars and for the first time ever at Daytona, F1 drivers Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen will drive in a Formula One. The Scuderia Ferrari drivers will also treat fans to fast laps and pit stop demonstrations. "Rusty's really excited and I think this is a unique opportunity for him and for us being able to promote the event through the eyes of a NASCAR champion," Wile said. "It's going to be quite the experience. Rusty is such a great ambassador for our sport and this is going to be fun to watch."
Wallace Jr., Gaughan, Reed, Koch miss Championship 4
RELATED: Full race results " Updated Chase Grid AVONDALE, Ariz. -- A tearful Darrell Wallace Jr . left the infield care center at Phoenix International Raceway on Saturday night, disappointed after a crash took him out of Chase contention and distraught over the loss of a cherished grandmother only days earlier. The Roush Fenway Racing NASCAR XFINITY Series driver had honored his grandmother by placing "Granny Jan" above the door of his No. 6 Ford. One of eight drivers vying for a berth in next week's Championship 4 at Homestead-Miami Speedway and seventh in points, Wallace needed a victory to secure a spot in the final. He was running inside the top 10 when contact from fellow Chase driver Blake Koch on Lap 149 of the 200-lap event sent his car hard into the wall, erasing any hopes of a victory. "My grandmother was giving me the ride of my life," an emotional Wallace said after exiting the care center. "That was the most fun I've had all year. Just circumstances took us out. ... We will go to Homestead and let her ride again." Wallace , teammate Ryan Reed , Koch (Kaulig Racing) and Brendan Gaughan ( Richard Childress Racing ) failed to transfer into the final round. Daniel Suarez and teammate Erik Jones ( Joe Gibbs Racing ) will make up half the field batting for the title as will JR Motorsports drivers Elliott Sadler and Justin Allgaier .
Snow day! Drivers share pictures of winter fun
RELATED: See tracks covered in snow The NASCAR community may not have collectively received the full brunt of snow initially predicted, but wintry weather still hit North Carolina late Friday night and into Saturday, sending several drivers and crew chiefs outside to play. Those based in Charlotte know that predictions of big snow -- and such was the case this weekend -- can often wash out in a sea of sleet or cold rain, but there was still more than enough to break out the sleds in the northern parts of the Piedmont. Here's a look at drivers playing in the snow with their families. Our favorites include Joey Logano sitting in an outdoor hot tub, Greg Biffle using the hood of a race car for a sled and Darrell Wallace Jr . posing for a ... risqué ... photo. Old @3M hood comes in handy!! pic.twitter.com/SxmId8EzMF — Greg Biffle (@gbiffle) January 7, 2017 ❄️.. not a fan of her coat or hat ♀️ pic.twitter.com/fbvod57zpd — Paige (@epaigewhite) January 7, 2017 Who do you think should do a snow angel first?! ❄️❄️❄️ pic.twitter.com/xQDrWAx79a — Joey Logano (@joeylogano) January 7, 2017 ❄️❄️ pic.twitter.com/ouCTOvlkW0 — Rodney Childers (@RodneyChilders4) January 7, 2017 We've had a helluva wreck pic.twitter.com/XOdoMXhPTD — Clint Bowyer (@ClintBowyer) January 7, 2017 Carter having some fun in the #snow pic.twitter.com/sY63HN7azs — Blake Koch (@BlakeKochRacing) January 7, 2017 Enough snow for a snowman and getting to pull out our winter clothes! pic.twitter.com/f0IWitxHlX — David Ragan (@DavidRagan) January 7, 2017 Always love waking up to snow, when we don't get it often.The kid will be out in full force today!Off 2 the garage to build a makeshift sled pic.twitter.com/nIxUhhNShH — Ricky Stenhouse Jr . (@StenhouseJr) January 7, 2017 If this isn't awesome I don't know what is!!! pic.twitter.com/SoL8ZCQvpe — Clint Bowyer (@ClintBowyer) January 7, 2017 Ready for the snow.... pic.twitter.com/mUyUnBXMG7 — Darrell Wallace Jr (@BubbaWallace) January 7, 2017