Friday, November 14, 2014

Redemption for Darrell Wallace Jr. with Victory at Homestead

Kyle Busch and Darrell Wallace Jr. celebrate race win, owner's championship
Credit:Chris Graythen/Getty Images  
Darrell Wallace Jr. told his team, "We want it more than anyone else. Let's show it."

And show it they did. The Camping World Truck Series season finale featured some of the best racing of the year with intense side-by-side action. The race ended with Wallace Jr. holding off Kyle Larson for the win in a rematch of their finish at Eldora earlier in the season.

"It was wild," said Wallace Jr. "Had to really work for it and it was back and forth, loose and tight, fighting aero tight and aero loose up there against the fence. Got into it once and learned from that. And then towards the end, battling two Kyles, the Cup stars, it was tough. But didn't get too excited, didn't get too down, kept a cool head, stayed patient, and was able to come out on top."

Larson stalked Wallace Jr. for the last half-dozen laps, going high, then low, then high again, trying to get around the No. 54 Kyle Busch Motorsports entry to no avail. Wallace Jr. scored his fourth checkered flag of the season, the 18th for Toyota, tying Chevrolet for the most victories for a manufacturer in a season.

"Once I got back in traffic after we had a bad pit stop there on the last stop, I struggled to find clean air and get back to the front, and me and Kyle Busch raced pretty hard there and I was able to clear him finally and chase down Bubba pretty quickly," Larson explained. "Then once I got to him, he was already running kind of where I wanted to run, and was trying to run a lane lower than him in 1 and 2 and I could almost get to his inside, and he could just get down in front of me enough to take my air away, and I'd get tight on exit and lose ground.

"There was a couple times where I got a good run off 4 and thought about doing a slide job and just thought better of it. And then I tried it one time there and wished the lap truck hadn't been there so I could run it even deeper. He was able to squeeze back around me, and that was about my last real shot. I tried something there the last lap, but I figured it wasn't going to work."

During those final laps Timothy Peters (third), Kyle Busch (fourth), and Ryan Blaney (fifth) battled for the lead and for position. Tyler Reddick was in the mix, too, until he got loose and slid sideways down the track, winding up sixth. Blaney's shifter broke early in the race.

In his Victory Lane interview, Wallace Jr. paid tribute to a team member's relative.

"Eddie, [Troconis] our engineer lost his mother this morning and I wanted to put her name, Alejandra, over the door and she was our guardian angel," Wallace said.

Ty Dillon filled in at the last minute for Brennan Newberry, who was ill, and came home seventh.

Behind him, Matt Crafton crossed the finish line eighth, making history as the first back-to-back driver's champion in the Camping World Truck Series. Ben Kennedy finished 17th and won Rookie of the Year.

Kyle Busch Motorsports handily took the owner's championship.

Unofficial Finishing Order:

Finish    Driver
1    Darrell Wallace, Jr.
2    Kyle Larson
3    Timothy Peters
4    Kyle Busch
5    Ryan Blaney
6    Tyler Reddick
7    Ty Dillon
8    Joe Nemechek
9    Matt Crafton
10    Johnny Sauter
11    Ross Chastain
12    Daniel Hemric
13    Jeb Burton
14    Spencer Gallagher
15    German Quiroga
16    Mason Mitchell
17    Ben Kennedy
18    Bryan Silas
19    Tayler Malsam
20    Austin Hill
21    Matt Tifft
22    Justin Jennings
23    Joey Coulter
24    Tyler Young
25    Kyle Martel
26    Todd Peck
27    Derek White
28    Ray Black, Jr.
29    Mason Mingus
30    Jordan Anderson
31    Wendell Chavous
32    Jennifer Jo Cobb
33    Scott Stenzel
34    Norm Benning
35    John Wes Townley
36    Caleb Roark

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