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
Darrell Wallace Jr. shows off his '67 Beetle
Darrell Wallace Jr. talks to NASCAR Illustrated's Steven Levine about his 1967 Volkswagon Beetle.
Drivers react to Kyle Busch, Joey Logano fight
Kyle Busch and Joey Logano mixed it up on pit road following the Kobalt 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Contact on the final lap led Busch to confront Logano after they exited their cars, and things escalted quickly. A handful of drivers and NASCAR Nation members took to Twitter to share their views after the fracas, including Logano, himself. We about crashed and I was trying to save it. Nothing intentional on my end. Had another fast Ford all day. Proud of this 22 team. — Joey Logano (@joeylogano) March 13, 2017 What's up? Heard there was a fight. — Denny Hamlin (@dennyhamlin) March 13, 2017 I have never really beat the shit out of a guy, but me @TonyStewart and our crew chiefs had a fun brawl in the NASCAR hauler once. 1999 https://t.co/7wMD7p7Ia5 — Dale Earnhardt Jr. (@DaleJr) March 13, 2017 Yep. When you are mad you do stuff like that. But no matter how justified/pissed you feel, maybe it's best to do it off camera. https://t.co/BVLga4AWBb — Dale Earnhardt Jr. (@DaleJr) March 13, 2017 IMO-Fighting in Motorsport is dumb. It always turns into a pile and your own guys hit each other. At least in hockey they are good at it. https://t.co/BFThD7cN57 — Brad Keselowski (@keselowski) March 13, 2017 This sport is built on determination and passion! — Jeff Burton (@JeffBurton) March 12, 2017 Well… What do you think @NASCAR should do about the post race scuffle??? — Steve Letarte (@SteveLetarte) March 12, 2017 WWE Las Vegas. — Jeb Burton (@JebBurtonRacing) March 12, 2017 Make all crews stay behind pit wall for 10 min post race before going to the cars or drivers. https://t.co/AkDbtslM8D — Regan Smith (@ReganSmith) March 12, 2017 What separates racing from other sports is the intensity for EVERY position. Remember Kyle & Joey were not racing for the win. Points matter — Jeff Burton (@JeffBurton) March 12, 2017 EVERY #nascar driver started at the local short track.. Fighting IS NOT a local short track deal.. It's PASSION.. We are all the same. pic.twitter.com/yoY6Uw75nZ — Kenny Wallace (@Kenny_Wallace) March 13, 2017 MORE: Busch, Logano tangle after Las Vegas race &amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;/p&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;
Sadler, Wallace Jr. bounce back for strong showings at Atlanta
RELATED: Full race results and standings HAMPTON, Ga. -- Elliott Sadler bounced back from a setback in qualifying while Darrell Wallace Jr. battled back from his own demons. Both NASCAR XFINITY Series drivers scored top-10 finishes in Saturday's Rinnai 250 at Atlanta Motor Speedway, rebounding solidly following disappointing results a week earlier in the season-opening race at Daytona. Sadler, who started 22nd after a tire problem during qualifying Saturday morning, scored a fifth-place finish at AMS. The qualifying issue turned out to not be an issue after all for the JR Motorsports driver. He was fifth on a restart with 16 laps remaining, and quickly moved up to third, but couldn't hold off the charges of Kevin Harvick and Kyle Larson during the closing laps. "I wanted to tighten it up some so I could drive it hard there at the end, those last 15 laps, and I got them to go too far," Sadler said of his radio conversation with crew chief Kevin Meendering. "But we got beat by some of the best at this race track; I think the car was better than I was today." Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series regulars dominated the race, with Kyle Busch earning the win while Brad Keselowski, Larson and Harvick placed second, third and fourth, respectively. Sadler said he knew his car was a contender as early as Friday in practice. If there was any blame, he said, it was on his shoulders. "This is a very line-sensitive track and those guys are so good at going around the bottom, they really are," he said. "And I didn't do a good job all day of staying on the bottom to run with those guys. But I'm very proud of my team. A fifth-place finish for us here at Atlanta we're ecstatic with that." The finish vaulted Sadler to the top of the point standings a week after a crash at Daytona soured an otherwise solid opening weekend. "We've been fast both races so that's all we can ask for and we'll move on from there," he said. "We had the winning car at Daytona, we had a top-five car here today. That's very impressive coming out of the chute with all these new rules and new stuff going on for my guys to prepare my cars this way." For Wallace , the trip might not have been as far numerically -- he finished sixth after qualifying 13th – but it was no less difficult. It was a top 10 he talked himself into, he said. "It all starts with me not getting frustrated," said Wallace , driver of the No. 6 Ford for Roush Fenway Racing. "Not replaying things from last year. I was doing that. I was doing that that whole first segment. I'm like 'Stop! Stop!' I was talking to myself." Surprisingly, it took golf lessons to put the 23-year-old in the proper frame of mind. "I went and took lessons and the four things he told me to be better, I used those to kind of help me relax, although they had nothing to do with racing," Wallace said. "Really keeping a cool head, no mistakes on pit road -- I thought I was flirting with speed lines all day and didn't get busted there -- and we were able to capitalize on those last restarts. We needed it." Wallace had come away from Daytona with a 33rd-place finish. Saturday's result propelled him to 14th in points. "That's just the never-give-up attitude we've got going this year," he said of his RFR group. "Look at Ryan (Reed) last week at Daytona, spun out twice, mangled car comes back and wins it. Now we're here. "We know we need to unload a little bit better to have a better shot at winning one of these things. Just a great day for us, to keep our heads calm, to run good for Leidos. "I was fighting hard for that top five and then I burned my stuff up. Then the veteran Harvick got by me. Good day here in Atlanta; we needed it, especially to rebound after Daytona." &lt;/p&gt;
Auto Club Speedway by the numbers
BUY TICKETS: Celebrate Auto Club's 20th anniversary RELATED: Full weekend schedule Jimmie Johnson was driving a Superman car and wearing a cape the last time he saw Victory Lane at Auto Club Speedway in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series' stop there in 2016. It's appropriate since he almost owns the place. Johnson has six wins at Auto Club, spanning a decade and a half. He also has five runner-up finishes, an impressive average finishing place of 6.5 and has led 980 laps around the 2-mile circuit in Fontana, California. Roger Penske has a stake in the place as well, having been one of the architects, alongside Les "Coach" Richter. The track officially opened June 22, 1997, and it's celebrating its 20th anniversary as NASCAR returns to Fontana this weekend for Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series and XFINITY Series racing. Penske got his first Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series win at the track on April 29, 2001 with Rusty Wallace piloting the No. 2 Miller Lite Ford. Brad Keselowski put Team Penske back in Victory Lane at Auto Club Speedway in 2015. Penske's open wheel drivers also have had success at the track. Penske built a fast race track, leading to some stout stats in the speedway's lore: -- A 188.511 mph qualifying speed record set by Denny Hamlin in 2016 -- A 155.012 mph race speed record set by Jeff Gordon in 1997 Digging into the numbers a bit more: -- Hendrick Motorsports has 10 wins, the most of any team -- Ford has 11 wins at the track, and Chevrolet has 13. Kyle Busch has taken home two Auto Club 400 trophies for Toyota in back-to-back races in 2013-14. -- Farthest back in the field a winning driver started: 31st, Matt Kenseth, spring of 2006 -- Pole-sitting winners: Only one, Johnson in 2008 -- The closest margin of victory was 0.144 seconds, as Kevin Harvick edged Johnson in 2011
No. 47 team's L1-level penalty from Atlanta upheld
RELATED: NASCAR levies L1-level penalties after Atlanta The National Motorsports Appeals Panel upheld penalties against the No. 47 JTG Daugherty Racing team that competes in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series following a hearing Wednesday at NASCAR's Research & Development Center in Concord, North Carolina. JTG officials appealed L1-level penalties levied against the team, driver AJ Allmendinger and crew chief Randall Burnett following the March 5 Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The penalties were the result of three unsecured lug nuts on the No. 47 Chevrolet found during post-race inspection and resulted in a loss of 35 championship driver and owner points and a $65,000 fine and three-race suspension for Burnett. The points loss dropped Allmendinger, who finished 26th at Atlanta, from 11th to 35th in the standings. Following last weekend's Phoenix race, he is now 31st in standings. RELATED: Details of the updated deterrence system Ernie Cope, the organization's director of competition, has served as interim crew chief during Burnett's suspension. Minimum penalty options for an L1-level infraction according to the NASCAR deterrence policy, consist of a deduction of 10 to 40 points, suspension of crew chief for 1-3 races, a fine of $25,000 to $75,000 as well as the team's finishing position being declared encumbered. Specific lug nut violations/penalties are: a $10,000 fine for one unsecured lug nut; $20,000 fine and one-race suspension of crew chief for two unsecured lug nuts; $65,000 fine, loss of 35 driver/owner points, three-race crew chief suspension and encumbered finishing position for three or more unsecured lug nuts. The panel consisted of Richard Gore, Bill Lester and Steve York. JTG Daugherty can appeal the panel’s decision to Bryan Moss, the National Motorsports Finals Appeals Officer, if it so chooses. JTG Daugherty Racing is located in Harrisburg, North Carolina. The organization fields two full-time Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series teams featuring Allmendinger and the No. 37 team of Chris Buescher.
Steve Wallace to make Cup debut in Daytona 500
Deal with Penske locks Nationwide driver in field with points from No. 77
Wallace : 'Just keep digging'
Darrell Wallace Jr. talks about his recent bad luck and moving on to the next race after finishing 29th at Watkins Glen International.
#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.
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