The Frontstretch: 2013 NASCAR Driver Review: Darrell Wallace, Jr. by Mike Neff -- Wednesday December 11, 2013

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2013 NASCAR Driver Review: Darrell Wallace, Jr.

Mike Neff · Wednesday December 11, 2013

 

2013 Ride: No. 54 Kyle Busch Motorsports Toyota
2013 Primary Sponsors: Camping World
2013 Owner: Kyle Busch
2013 Crew Chief: Jerry Baxter

Stats: 22 starts, 1 poles, 1 win, 5 top 5s, 12 top 10s, 3 DNF, 8th in points.
Best Finish: 1st Martinsville – October.
Average Start: 11.6.
Average Finish: 12.6.

Darrell Wallace, Jr.

2013 Team Ranking: 1st of 2. Wallace finished 8th in points while Joey Coulter came home 15th. Wallace had the only win among the two, had more top 5s, more top 10s and the only pole. Since the No. 51 truck was occupied by multiple drivers, it isn’t included in the total.

High Point: Unquestionably the highest point for Wallace’s year, and at this point of his career, was his victory at Martinsville in October. Wallace has been tagged as a potential star in NASCAR for several years and has been working his way through the development process. Martinsville was another step on that ladder that will, most likely, see him eventually in a Sprint Cup car. Wallace’s victory was the second on a national tour by a Drive for Diversity driver and the second for a black driver in the history of NASCAR in a national event. Wallace’s victory was celebrated by NASCAR with appearances and celebration on many national networks and shows.

Low Point: Five months before Wallace scored his first win he looked to be heading toward Victory Lane at Charlotte. Unfortunately, running fourth and heading toward the front of the pack as the laps were winding down, Wallace spun out of turn two and collected three other trucks. Rather than celebrating a win his crew was loading a mangled race truck into the hauler. Wallace admitted after the race that he drove over his head and cost himself the good finish.

Summary: Wallace’s first year in the Camping World Truck Series was a success. He scored a win and gave Ryan Blaney a strong battle to the end of the season for the Rookie of the Year award. He was running at the finish of all but three races and in those 19 races he crossed the finish line on the lead lap in 17 of them. Wallace was second in laps led among the 16 drivers who ran the entire schedule.

Off-Track News: Wallace continues to give back to racing even at the age of 18. He owns Legends cars and provides rides for multiple drivers when he’s not jumping behind the wheel himself. Wallace also continues to expand his photography skills around the race track and around town.

2014 Outlook: Wallace will be back with Kyle Busch Motorsports in 2014. KBM is consolidating next year, eliminating their Nationwide program and only running two Trucks in the Camping World Truck series. Wallace will be the only full-time driver for KBM. With a year under his belt in the series, and several of the drivers who finished ahead of him in points out of rides or moving on in 2014, Wallace should be a contender for the title.

2013 Frontstretch.com Grade: B+. Wallace scored a win in his rookie season and led the second most laps among full-time drivers. While he finished eighth in points, which was the mid-point of drivers who competed full-time on the circuit, he did it as a rookie. The bar will be raised for next season.

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