Darrell Wallace Jr. Takes the Win at the NASCAR K&N Pro Series Race at Greenville Pickens Speedway

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Darrell Wallace emerging from his car in Victory Lane.
Darrell Wallace emerging from his car in Victory Lane.
Darrell Wallace Jr. was back in Victory Lane at Greenville Pickens Speedway in South Carolina, the site of his first NASCAR K&N Pro Series East career win. Wallace won the pole and led every lap but one in the Kevin Whitaker Chevrolet 150 on Saturday night. It was the sixth K&N Pro Series East win of his career and his first since winning the 2011 season finale at Dover International Speedway in Delaware.

"Awesome run from the drop of the green flag to the drop of the checkered flag," said Wallace, a driver for Joe Gibbs Racing. "It was a very intense race, but a very slow-paced race. Didn't know how weather was going to play out in the end. Luckily it played out very good and we came out with a win."

He won the first race of his K&N Pro Series East career at Greenville Pickens Speedway in 2010. Rain washed out qualifying and Wallace started from the pole. He led the first 127 laps of the race, his only challenge coming from Brett Moffitt. Moffitt took the lead for one lap, 128, and gave it right back to Wallace on lap 129.
Darrell Wallace and his team in Victory Lane.
Darrell Wallace and his team in Victory Lane.

Corey LaJoie, the son of two-time NASCAR Nationwide Series champion Randy LaJoie, was second. He had four top-five finishes in 2011, including a runner-up at Bowman Gray Stadium. His team brought a new car to the race at Greenville Pickens, but he said he was disappointed with his runner-up finish. "It was really good, being that it's a brand new car," LaJoie said. "We didn't know the first thing about it. We came here, the first practice, and worked it all out. Now I sit here in second."

LaJoie added that his team is close to winning a race. "You can look at it one way, where you want to be in victory lane, because I've had a couple second places," LaJoie said. "I haven't been able to break that barrier into victory lane yet. If we keep running like that, they'll go our way. I'm sure of it."

Brandon Gdovic finished third, his best career finish in a K&N Pro Series East race. "It was definitely an interesting one," Gdovic said. "I don't even know where we started actually. Fell back, pretty far back. Our plan from the beginning was to cruise, basically, just the whole time. I think I went 10 laps a little too late there, but ended up third. It was a good run for us. I'm really proud of the guys."
Travis Pastrana under pressure.
Travis Pastrana under pressure.

Moffitt dropped back and finished in fourth place. Eddie McDonald was fifth. The race included Travis Pastrana, who started on the second row in the third position. Pastrana ended up in 20th place. Dylan Kwasniewski, a 16-year-old driver and the K&N Pro Series rookie of the year for 2011, made his K&N Pro Series East debut and turned in a top-10 finish. He was seventh. Chase Elliott, the son of Bill Elliott, was sixth.

Wallace has a one-point lead, 74-73, over Ben Kennedy in the K&N Pro Series East standings after two races. Kennedy turned in a ninth-place effort at Greenville Pickens and opened the season with a sixth-place finish at Bristol Motor Speedway. Wallace started the season with a disappointing 18th place finish in the season opener at Bristol. He started on the front row in Bristol with pole winner Nelson Piquet Jr., but fell back midway through the race.

Wallace had no problem staying out front at Greenville Pickens though. "I just want to thank God for keeping me safe, all the fans for coming out and especially Joe Gibbs Racing for putting me in this," Wallace said. "This is one bad ride right here. A little bit of cosmetic damage, but we were able to hold on to it. They always put a great piece under me. We'll go to Richmond next. They have a good car, a good set up for there, so I am very excited about that race."

The next K&N Pro Series East race is the Blue Ox 100 at Richmond International Raceway on April 26. The Kevin Whitaker Chevrolet 150 will be broadcast on Speed on May 3 at noon PDT.

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