Darrell Wallace Jr. won the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East race at Richmond International Raceway on Thursday night and took over the lead in the East Series standings.
Wallace took the lead on lap 79 and was out front for the last 21 laps of the Blue Ox 100, the third race of the K&N Pro Series East schedule.
NASCAR K&N Pro Series East Driver Darrell Wallace Jr.
Wallace took the lead on lap 79 and was out front for the last 21 laps of the Blue Ox 100.
"Awesome run overall. Definitely a hard-working team back at Revolution Racing," Wallace said. "They said they left the shop at 9 o'clock last night and got in late. My car was the last one out of the shop. Can't thank them enough."
Wallace won the third East Series race of his career and the first of the 2011 season. He won two as a rookie last year. It was the second win in a row for his team, Revolution Racing. Sergio Pena won the race at South Boston Speedway in Virginia on April 17.
Wallace took the lead from pole winner Max Gresham for the first time in the race on lap 55. Gresham took back the lead on a restart on lap 78, but Wallace regained the lead a lap later and held it the rest of the way.
Darrell Wallace Jr. takes checkered flag at Richmond International Raceway
"To get my first win on a big track here, it's pretty awesome. We just had to be patient and be there at the end," Wallace said. "Gresham, he was pretty strong. We had a little bit better car and a better line. We just took it away from him."
Brett Moffitt finished second, followed by Corey LaJoie in third. Gresham, who led a race-high 55 laps, fell off at the end and finished fourth. Rookie Alex Bowman was fifth.
The race was delayed for an hour and 48 minutes because of rain.
"We had something for him and I kept my word," Wallace said about his late battle with Gresham. "We went for it and we were able to come out with a win. We got into it a little bit coming off a two, but I gotta go talk to him and tell him it wasn't a big deal. I think we're all good. We'll go to Iowa and have another good race."
Moffitt rebounded after a disappointing end to the race at South Boston. He was leading late in the race when he tangled with a lapped car and fell out of contention.
"We were really strong. We definitely weren't a winning car, but we were a top five, top 10 car," Moffitt said after the race. "Things just went our way tonight. We ended up running second which was great for our points after South Boston. That race was a big disappointment, leading until six laps to go and then getting taken out by a lapped car. It was a great night for points. The guys worked hard in practice to get the car where we needed it."
LaJoie said NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Kevin Harvick gave him some advice about how to race at Richmond before the race and it helped, especially in the second half of the race.
"We were in my opinion junk all day long," LaJoie said. "We couldn't run that fast lap, but we could keep running consistent times, which I didn't think was a very good thing because I didn't think the track lost much grip and it didn't wear tires. Harvick come up and talked to me before the race and gave me some tips on the line. He gave me some really useful tips that I didn't even pick up in practice, that I didn't even realize what to do. I really appreciate that."
Pena, Wallace's teammate at Revolution Racing, finished ninth. Wallace has a 24-point lead over Pena after three races in the K&N Pro Series East season.
"It's awesome, definitely a lot better than last year,." Wallace said. "Last year we tore up a bunch of race cars in the process. Now we're bringing ‘em home in one piece or a couple of pieces, like a fender coming off. Not on the tow truck or anything. I think we got a good set of drivers. It's definitely a lot better than last year."
The next K&N Pro Series race is at Iowa Speedway on May 21. It is a combination race between the K&N Pro Series East and West teams.
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