It's perhaps the biggest win of Darrell Wallace's Jr's young career as the 20-year-old from Alabama led 97 of 150 laps en route to his third career NASCAR Camping World Truck Series in the 1-800-Car-Cash Mudsummer Classic at Eldora Speedway on Wednesday night. A stunned Wallace celebrated in victory lane.
"That's so cool, on dirt, Eldora," Wallace said in victory lane. "Really? Eldora?"
Wallace had an epic battle with NASCAR Sprint Cup Series regular Kyle Larson, who gave Wallace a great race until three laps to go when Larson banged his #32 Chevrolet Silverado off the outside wall hard and breaking something in the suspension ending his day in the 26th position. Larson had hit the wall several times throughout the race and his truck finally gave way.
Finishing in the second position was Ron Hornaday Jr with Ryan Blaney coming home third. Finishing in the fourth spot was 59-year-old veteran Ken Schrader with Ty Dillon coming home fifth. Finishing in the sixth spot was John Hunter Nemechek with Jeb Burton coming home seventh. Finishing in the eighth position was Johnny Sauter with Matt Crafton finishing ninth. Last year's Eldora winner Austin Dillon finished 10th.
The 150 lap feature for the 1-800-Car-Cash Mudsummer Classic began with Erik Jones and Jeb Burton on the front row after they won heat races 1 and 2 respectively. The race was broken down into three segments with the first segment consisting of 60 laps followed by a 50 lap segment and then a final 40 lap segment to end the race. Jones led early and looked to have the dominate truck early on. Jones led until Jeb Burton passed him for the lead on lap 25. Two laps later Jones' night would take a dramatic turn when Jones' tire would blow causing him to spin his #51 Toyota Tundra, bringing out the races' first caution flag.
The race would continue on lap 32 with Burton and Ron Hornaday Jr leading the field to green. Hornaday would shoot out to the lead and show just how strong his #30 Chevrolet was. Hornaday was leading when the races' second caution flag flew when Erik Jones would spin.
The race would continue with Hornaday and Burton on the front row on lap 44. Burton would get the lead initially and then Hornaday would make the move again and pass Burton for the lead on lap 45. On lap 49 Darrell Wallace Jr would get the lead for the first time as he passed Hornaday in turn four. Wallace would lead until the end of segment one on lap 60.
Teams would pit and when the race restarted on lap 61 Darrell Wallace Jr and Ty Dillon were in front of the field Dillon had driven from the 13th starting position. Wallace pulled out to a lead and led until a lap 65 caution for debris. The race would restart on lap 70 with Wallace and Dillon in front. Wallace pulled out to a lead. Meanwhile on lap 86 Kyle Larson would spin after contact from Ty Dillon. The contact would cause Larson to spin back into Dillon and would result in Dillon losing a left rear tire. Dillon would spin as would Erik Jones, who slammed the wall causing the caution. Jones finished 29th.
Meanwhile, Dillon would come down on pit road and change four tires and put gas in their #3 Chevrolet Silverado. Those two moves were determined illegal by NASCAR and Dillon would lose a lap and restart in the 27th position. Crew chief Danny Stockman had communication with a NASCAR official in which Stockman was told it was okay to put tires on his truck. However, the gas was the problem and Dillon was penalized a lap for the infraction.
The race would restart on lap 98 after a long delay, to sort out the Dillon issue, with Wallace in front. Wallace remained in front when the second segment ended on lap 110. Matt Crafton and Austin Dillon pitted while all the other contending trucks stayed out and when the race restarted on lap 111 Darrell Wallace Jr and Ron Hornaday Jr were on the front row. Ty Dillon was also back on the lead lap after getting the lucky dog and restarted 27th.
Hornaday gave way to Kyle Larson who passed the veteran for the second spot on lap 120. By lap 126 Larson was on the back bumper of Wallace. The final caution flag of the night would fly when Jody Knowles spun. Knowles would finish 28th. RIght ebfore the caution flew on lap 129 Larson was able to just get ahead of Wallace for the lead.
The race would restart on lap 132 with Kyle Larson on the outside of front row and Darrell Wallace Jr on the bottom. Wallade prevailed out of turn two and from there the duo would engage in a battle for the ages. Larson would beat the wall down with his #32 Chevrolet and nearly got the lead several times. Finally on lap 148 Larson's #32 Chevrolet hit the wall one last time and he couldn't drive his truck, giving the race to Wallace who won by 5.489 seconds over Hornaday Jr at the half-mile dirt track.
The win is the eighth of the season for Kyle Busch Motorsports in the first 10 races. Toyota has won all 10 races.
Other notables in the field included Tyler Reddick in 11th, German Quiorga in 12th, Ben Kennedy in 13th and Joey Coulter in 14th. Timothy Peters would finish in 16th and John Wes Townley 19th.
Ryan Blaney has taken the points lead after the 1-800-Car-Cash Mudsummer Classic at Eldora Speedway. He leads second place points man Matt Crafton by four points. Johnny Sauter is third in the points, 10 points behind with Ron Hornaday Jr fourth in the standings 19 points back. Fifth in the standings 26 points back is German Quiroga. Sixth in the standings is Darrell Wallace Jr followed by Ben Kennedy, Timothy Peters, Joey Coulter and John Wes Townley.
The next race on the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series schedule is the Pocono Mountains 150 at Pocono Raceway on Saturday, August 2nd.
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Tags: Austin Dillon, Darrell Wallace Jr., Eldora Speedway, Erik Jones, Jeb Burton, John Hunter Nemechek, Ken Schrader, Kyle Larson, Matt Crafton, Motorsports, Mudsummer Classic, NASCAR, NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, Ron Hornaday Jr., Ryan Blaney