Next Friday at Richmond International Raceway, NASCAR will introduce their new group of NASCAR Next stars. NASCAR chooses a group of young individuals coming up the racing ranks that the fans should keep an eye on the future.
Darrell Wallace Jr. was part of one of the previous classes while racing in the K&N Pro Series for Revolution Racing and says it was a memorable experience.
“You get to do so many things that you didn’t think you’d be able to do. It’s just a lot of fun to be able to race with your peers and be along with them. And at such a young age group, you get to have a lot of fun,” he commented. “It’s not so much different like out on the racetrack. Growing up it was you racing against the older guys and not really knowing where you stood, and now it’s a young generation coming through, trying to make their mark on NASCAR and make history. That’s what it’s all about. So bringing in new faces is awesome to be a part of.”
Darrell Wallace Jr. is running the full schedule once again this season for Kyle Busch Motorsports. Kicking off teh season at Daytona, Wallace Jr. finished 26th as a result of a crash.
“Daytona wasn’t the best race, so we threw that out the window. I said it multiple times” he explained. “We talked to Kyle and my crew chief Jerry about starting over at Martinsville, and getting a fresh start there and we had come out and finished second. That was a good start. We were very close to winning, but it got us back up in the points. We’re eighth now from 21st. It shows the commitment of my guys.”
Following Martinsville, the trucks don’t race for a month, which makes it hard to carry momentum. Wallace says they’re trying to so they have a good run next month at Kansas Speedway, but it isn’t easy. To keep himself in the game so to speak, Wallace Jr. has been checking in at the shop as much as possible to keep up with the progress of preparing for the rest of the season.
“We have some testing coming up,” Wallace added. “I know we have a tire test at Dover, so we’re going to be doing that fairly soon, so I’ll get that bug to get back in it here shortly. Very excited to get back in my Toyota Tundra, and go for a another win at Kansas.”
Last year, Wallace had his fair share of wrecks, which ultimately took him out of Rookie of the Year contention. Wallace noted that it was frustrating, but he was proud of the speed that they showed and noted that if he hadn’t wrecked, they probably would’ve had some more wins.
“That’s just part of the rookie blues and the rookie stripes,” he commented. “So I definitely know what I have to do now this year and use that as motivation to go out there and perform better. I’m using our motto. It’s just better every finish from last year.
“So our spring race at Martinsville, we finished fifth. This year we finished second. So we’re going to go try to finish better than 7th at Kansas, so that’s our goal.”