Bold move on late restart gives rookie second East win
Lee, NH — Darrell Wallace Jr. made a three-wide pass for the lead with two laps to go and held on for the victory Friday in the K&N Pro Series 125 at Lee USA Speedway.
Wallace started behind Ryan Truex and Eddie MacDonald on the race’s final restart. Truex and MacDonald had swapped the lead four times over the previous 35 laps, and appeared setting up for a final dash to the checkers for the win. But it was Wallace who had drove up through the field after getting tangled up in an early race incident and wound up stealing the spotlight. He dove inside the side-by-side leaders going into Turn 3, and emerged with the lead coming out of Turn 4.
It was the second NASCAR K&N Pro Series East win of the season for the 16-year-old Revolution Racing driver from Mobile, Ala. Wallace won the season opener in March at Greenville (S.C.) Pickens Speedway. That victory had made the Drive for Diversity member the youngest winner in series history.
Wallace, second in points, closed the gap on defending series champion Truex to 33 with three races remaining.
On a night when the track held a reunion for those involved in the series’ New England roots, it was a top three finish for three teenagers who showcased the evolution of the series: Wallace was followed across the line by 18-year-old Truex from New Jersey and 17-year-old Brett Moffitt of Iowa.
MacDonald ended up fourth. The Rowley, Mass., driver seemed poised to win at his home track, where he made his series debut in 2001. He led five times for a race-high 65 laps only to get shuffled out of the lead in the final laps.
Cole Whitt finished fifth. Andrew Smith, Matt Kobyluck, Marc Davis, Kevin Swindell and Jorge Arteaga rounded out the top 10. Earlier in the day, Swindell won his first career Coors Light Pole Award, but was spun on a Lap 54 restart while battling MacDonald for the lead. Wallace, who was running third at the time, was among the cars that were involved in the pileup.
The K&N Pro Series 125 will air on SPEED on Thursday, Aug. 5 at 6 p.m. ET.
The NASCAR K&N Pro Series East will return to the track on Saturday, Aug. 28 at Gresham Motorsports Park in Jefferson, Ga.3
Sources: Jason Christley/NASCAR K&N Pro Series East PR