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
Darrell Wallace Jr. talks to NASCAR Illustrated's Steven Levine about his 1967 Volkswagon Beetle.
RELATED: Full race results SPARTA, Ky. -- Some mid-race contact in the NASCAR XFINITY Series VisitMyrtleBeach.com 300 led to some post-race fireworks at Kentucky Speedway for Brian Scott and Darrell Wallace Jr . On pit road, moments after the race ended, Scott went over to Wallace's parked car on pit road to have an exchange of words that appeared to get physical with the Richard Childress Racing driver pushing and shoving a still-seated Wallace before being separated by a NASCAR official. After being separated, Scott went back for some more heated words with Wallace before walking away and back to his car. "We got a restart and the 6, he drove down into me." Scott said on pit road. "I never felt like he even gave me a chance to get in the corner. He loosened my right rear wheel and it ruined our day. Really unfortunate. Such a fast car. "We're racing for wins, so we don't have to worry about points and stuff and that puts us in position to race those guys aggressively if that's how they're going to race." Scott's anger stemmed from an incident on a Lap 128 restart where the two made contact and dropped him from out of the top 10 and eventually forced him to pit under a green flag, going a lap down on Lap 143. Scott led 45 laps and ended up with a 13th-place finish but remains in search of his first XFINITY Series win. RCR, as a whole, had a solid day with three cars in the top six. "I think we showed as a company we're really dominant," Scott said. "I felt good about our Shore Lodge Chevrolet. Extremely good out front. We struggled with it in dirty air. "We just kind of kept having restarts and red flags, and the race wasn't really going smoothly, and that didn’t really play into our favor." Wallace didn't really address the incident much, prefering to focus on his Roush Fenway Racing No. 6 Ford's run that resulted in a ninth-place finish for his 11th top-10 finish of the season. "I don't even know if we got together on pit road," Wallace told NBCSN. "We come home ninth, another top 10, so that's good. Just not what we were expecting all day. Our Bleacher Report Mustang wasn't what we had in practice. It was a kind of, a totally different animal. That's what produces here at Kentucky. Great racing all around. "Just a bummer we didn't run better. We were expecting better than what we did. I tried to do some pit strategy but it hurt us in the long run, but we'll go to Dover, where really good and have some fun." Asked for side of the incident, Wallace simply said, "that was -- that was early in the race." After the race, Wallace and Scott both shared their sides on Twitter. Some say the interview was bad..apologies! Hard to gather the brains when ya get blindsided by him, his wife..and bus driver.. Anybody else? — Darrell Wallace Jr (@BubbaWallace) September 27, 2015 Well @BubbaWallace when your so classless that you call my wife the C word you should be ready for something to happen... — Brian Scott (@bscottracing) September 27, 2015 Both drivers will be back in action at Dover International Speedway for the Hisense 200 (Oct. 3, NBCSN, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).
As far as sports mottos go, it may not be the most inspiring. But coming off a career-best third place finish this past weekend at Chicagoland Speedway , Darrell "Bubba" Wallace isn't so sure. "Our motto is 'suck less,' " the Roush Fenway Racing driver said. "Suck less each and every week." Wallace , 21, earned his third top-five finish in NASCAR's XFINTY Series at Chicago, trailing Sprint Cup Series regulars Kyle Busch and Matt Kenseth , both of Joe Gibbs Racing , across the finish line. Running just ahead of another Sprint Cup regular, Richard Childress Racing 's Paul Menard , Wallace's No. 6 Ford ran out of gas coming out of the final turn. Wallace's previous career best was a fifth-place finish at Charlotte earlier this year, a mark he equaled recently at Road America . He has 14 top-10 results in 32 career starts in the series. Another mile-and-a-half track is on tap for this weekend when the XFINITY Series returns to Kentucky Speedway Saturday for the VisitMyrtleBeach.com 300 (8 p.m. ET, NBCSN, PRN). "To come out of (Chicago) with a top five, going into these mile-and-a-halves that we've got coming up, that definitely builds the confidence," Wallace said. "It says a lot. Especially going into Kentucky where we were really strong (earlier) and finished seventh or so. "We can definitely go back, we know where we need to improve and get us another top five." Wallace is sixth in points heading into this weekend's event. Teammate Chris Buescher is the points leader, with Ty Dillon (RCR), Chase Elliott (JR Motorsports), Regan Smith (JRM) and Elliott Sadler (RFR) completing the top five. Including the Kentucky stop, five of the final seven events for the series will be contested on 1.5-mile tracks. And that's just fine with Wallace . "I think our only struggle point will be Phoenix," he said of the season's next-to-last event. "As a whole we weren't good there in the spring and personally I am not good there. I definitely need work on that track. "The rest of the season I think we can take this momentum and finish off strong. We need to just keep our heads up and keep digging. We can use (Chicago) as momentum … good to come out of (there) with a third-place-finish. "Chicago … is always a great venue for me. Kentucky, Dover is redemption for sure. We always run good there. I am looking for a strong season from here." With the Sprint Cup Series competing at New Hampshire Motor Speedway this weekend, the only full-time Cup regular scheduled to race at Kentucky is J.J. Yeley. Sprint Cup drivers have won four of the last five XFINITY Series races and 18 of 26 this season. Busch led 102 laps on his way to the win and Kenseth led 84 in the 200-lap event at Chicago. "Every team goes through phases of their strong points and they are hitting on all notes right now," Wallace said of the JGR program. "We are trying to get there. We are close. We are about a seventh-place car each and every weekend and we need to improve on that. We are hitting on the right notes to get that process better and get where they are. "It is going to take a bit. Those guys have been really hitting on it lately. … That is OK. I am not going to worry about them." Two practice sessions are scheduled for XFINITY Series teams Friday at Kentucky from 3:30-4:25 p.m. ET and 6-7 p.m. ET. Qualifying is slated for Saturday, beginning at 4:45 p.m.
Brian Scott has some choice words for Darrell Wallace Jr. after NASCAR XFINITY Series race at Kentucky Speedway.
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.
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.
DOVER, Del. – Jimmie Johnson 's NASCAR premier series career is a story of numbers. Wins? He's at 74 and counting, eighth most in the series and second among active drivers. Championships? Six, trailing only the seven won by NASCAR Hall of Fame members Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt. Second-place finishes? He's got 46 of those, also second most among active participants. The only item that Johnson can't put a number on involves retirement. "No, I do not have a number and I have not picked a number," Johnson said Friday at Dover International Speedway , site of Sunday's AAA 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race (2:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR). "As a kid growing up racing and as I got in the sport, I didn't say 'when I get to this age, I'm going to step down.' I haven't had that conversation and have not picked a number with my wife and said, 'OK honey, this is the point that I am going to stop.' It's really based on feel, and I have Chani's support on that as well. "When I feel like it's time, I am going to make that decision. Certainly (I) don't feel like it's time now." That may be bad news for his fellow racers. Johnson is the only driver to qualify for the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup every year; he's won multiple races every year since his first full season in 2002 and he has finished outside the top five in points only twice during his 14-year career. In a sport that changes constantly, Johnson and success have been linked since Day 1. Hendrick Motorsports teammate Jeff Gordon , 44, is stepping aside at year's end. Fellow series champion Tony Stewart , also 44, has announced that 2016 will be his last as a Sprint Cup Series driver. "I remember watching Rusty ( Wallace ) pick a number and then remember talking to (him) in years following that and I still think he's mad he stopped," Johnson said. "I think he feels like he could be out here racing with us and winning races. "So conversations with him, with Dale Jarrett, with other guys ... I have always been curious. Why, when, what tells you to stop? Mark (Martin) tried a half dozen times to retire and couldn't walk away. "So I want to make sure I do it once and not keep coming back." What he's looking for, he said, is "the moment." "That moment that you say, ‘Alright, it's time.' When that shows up, then I will step down." The final race in this year's Challenger Round is set for Sunday. It will be Johnson's 500th career start, and his fifth-place points position makes him a shoo-in to be one of the 12 drivers who advance into the Contender Round. Becoming a member of Hendrick Motorsports , paired with sponsor Lowe's and crew chief Chad Knaus, the success that followed has "been a life-changing experience," Johnson said, "something I dreamed of. "But I still couldn't have dreamed this big and have this much take place for us."
Debating restarts, Chase package and Denny's off-track activity RELATED: Subscribe to NASCAR Illustrated " Kenseth unapologetic about Richmond The Chase is here and Joe Gibbs Racing heads into the 10-race postseason with a head of steam -- much like this week's installment of "Herman Unplugged." Onward, we roll! NASCAR ILLUSTRATED: We had some more restart controversy coming out of Richmond. Any problem with what Matt Kenseth did there en route to the win? HERMAN: "Absolutely not. I'm consistent. And if I'm wrong, I'll tell you I'm wrong. Matt Kenseth did what he needed to do to win that race and that's the game we played. When I was racing short tracks, my crew chief Steve Bird told people, 'You better watch Kenny Wallace , he plays games on restarts.' This theory where everybody comes to the start-finish line beautifully and takes off, that would really be boring. We don't need that; we need games on restarts." NI: Why have restarts have been such an issue lately? HERMAN: "These drivers are over the top mad about this because with the high downforce package it's so hard to pass, so they feel like the restart is the only chance they have to pass. I get that but I think all of this will go away next year with the low downforce. I don't think you'll have to take these chances next year on the restarts. It will be a case of I'll just pass that guy around the next corner or so." NI: Speaking of the low downforce package, would you like to see it used in the Chase particularly with five 1.5-mile tracks left on the schedule -- or is NASCAR doing the right thing using the conventional package? HERMAN: "In reality, they are making the right decision because 98 percent of the year this championship is based on the high downforce package. So to change the rules in the middle of the game, I'd say they would be changing the game." NI: Given how well the package performed at Kentucky and Darlington, it provides a spark heading into next year but it'd be nice to start riding that wave into the Chase, too. HERMAN: "It was unprecedented what they did in changing the rules at Kentucky and Darlington. They got away with it because the racing was so extremely good and it gave the fans a glimpse into next year and gave everybody a lot of hope. I think there are a lot of fans excited about next year because of the preview we saw this year. Even though they are doing the right thing, I would love to see them go to the low downforce package now at the start of the Chase because everybody would be on the same playing field. But that's wishful thinking." NI: Denny Hamlin 's ACL injury playing basketball brought to mind Smoke's injury in the dirt car. Hamlin said he had no real contractual restrictions on extracurricular activities. Should drivers have the freedom to do anything they want outside the race car? HERMAN: "I look at it this way: Denny's a young man, he's not a kid anymore and I think that's important. He is of age and then you have a lot more responsibilities. In your 20s, you're just having a good old time and you are invincible. Denny has proven that he's very fragile. He could be walking with a cane in the future. He's blown both knees out, ACLs, and with this knowledge going forward there's 500 employees over there at Joe Gibbs Racing . He has a lot of responsibility now. I think the only thing he can do now is play H-O-R-S-E. It makes me nervous every time he plays golf or picks up a ball because he gets hurt all the time. What happens if the next one really takes him out?" SUBSCRIBE NOW!
Deal with Penske locks Nationwide driver in field with points from No. 77