Darrell Wallace Jr. won the second NASCAR K&N Pro Series East race of his career, driving through the infield grass at Lee USA Speedway in New Hampshire to beat Ryan Truex and Eddie McDonald to the finish line with three laps to go in the race.
Darrell Wallace Jr. won the second NASCAR K&N Pro Series East race of his career.
Darrell Wallace at Lee USA Speedway in New Hampshire
The pass by Wallace sparked some paint swapping between Wallace and Truex during the cool-down laps. Truex ran into the back of Wallace's car and spun out Wallace.
After the race, Truex said he didn't mean to spin out Wallace. But Truex admitted he was angry with the way Wallace won the race.
"Right as I crossed the start-finish line I knew we won it," said Wallace, a 16-year-old rookie driver for Revolution Racing. "I was excited. The whole team was excited. After the race I got turned by Truex. He said he didn't mean to. He said he was mad."
Darrell Wallace Jr.
"That's what you do when you get passed in the grass like that. That's pretty much sore losing right there. Kind of upset about that, but, oh well, can't let that get to me. We just spanked him in this race."
Truex was in the lead on the final restart of the race on lap 122. Wallace took the lead from Truex on lap 123 and held it for the final two laps of the race. The final three laps were the only laps of the race Wallace led.
"I didn't mean to spin him out. I got into the back of him. I was a little angry with him," said the 18-year-old Truex, the reigning East Series champion. "Anybody would be. When you're racing side-by-side with somebody, and he just goes through the grass, doesn't even try to pass you. He could have waited a lap and maybe got under us and raced us clean. But he decided to drive through the grass and drive into my door. If that's how he wants to race, I'll race like that. I don't like racing like that. Anyone will tell you I race people clean and I have respect for people, but if they're going to drive me like that, that's what's going to happen to them."
Truex finished second in the race, followed by Brett Moffitt in third.
"We were really fighting the car all day long when we unloaded off the truck," said the 17-year-old Moffitt, who posted his fourth top-five finish in seven East Series races. "We definitely got a lot better for the race. Our series hasn't run here for years, so we didn't know what to expect. We had to really work at it, throw a lot at it."
McDonald, who led a race-high 66 laps, ended up in fourth. Rookie Cole Whitt was fifth.
"We went in the race and the car was just awesome," Truex said. "We were the best car out there other than Eddie McDonald. We got up there, me and Eddie were racing clean, racing hard. He wanted to win here, his home track. I was having a good time racing him, whatever happened there on the last lap, Darrell Wallace just drove us through the grass. It took away a good race from me and Eddie. Happy with second, good points day, but wanted the win."
Wallace trimmed Truex's lead in the East Series standings to 33 points. Wallace won for the first time since the season opener at Greenville-Pickens Speedway in South Carolina in March. It was Wallace's fifth top-five finish and sixth top 10 of the season.
"I wasn't expecting it again," Wallace said. "When we were sitting in third, I didn't know what the two leaders were going to do. When we got it, I was happy. Hopefully I can get another one. I know this helped out a lot in the rookie of the year. This is awesome. Hopefully we just go for another one next time."
The next East Series race is at Gresham Motorsports Park in Georgia on Aug. 28.
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