Thursday, September 23, 2021

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Darrell Wallace Jr. slides to 1-800 Car Cash Mudsummer Classic victory

Kyle Larson threw everything hat he could at Darrell Wallace Jr., but it wouldn’t be enough as Darrell Wallace Jr. claimed his second victory of the season with the 1-800 Car Cash Mudsummer Classic.

“God, that’s so cool. On dirt, on Eldora,” Wallace commented in victory lane. “I got frustrated earlier and Jerry leaned in the truck and I told him that wasn’t me. But God, Eldora? That’s just cool!”

Wallace would battle back and forth with Larson throughout the final segment of the 150 lap race, before taking the lead for the final time on the restart with 18 laps to go.

“This is a helluva race to bounce back,” he said. “I wish my mom was here, but this is a good luck charm. She wasn’t at Martinsville, she wasn’t at Gateway, she wasn’t here – she’s not allowed to come anymore.”

It marks Wallace’s third career victory, following a victory last year at Martinsville and this year at Gateway. For Kyle Busch Motorsports, it marks their fourth victory in a row as a team, and their eighth in the 10 races run this year to date. Toyota also keeps up their impressive sweep of winning every single event this season to date.

“The cool thing about is I came in here skeptical and knew we’d be about top-five, but I was worried about the winning streak,” Wallace admitted. “So glad that we kept it going and now we head to Pocono with another asphalt race.”

Ron Hornaday ran inside of the top 10 throughout the night to finish second for his seventh top 10 of the season

“All our guys have been working really hard and we were on our A game all day,” Hornaday said. “Never had a scratch on it after the heat races, but beat it off the wall a couple of times causing some damage. But still, one helluva race.”

Ryan Blaney finished third to take over the points lead, four points ahead of defending series champion Matt Crafton. Ken Schrader would finish fourth in his first truck appearance of 2014.

“We messed up the youth brigade,” Schrader joked. “Wow, how much fun? We started up around there and hung around, and then got going there on the last run there. We found a lot from last year but we still need to find something. But as much fun as it was on track, I hope the fans had a lot of fun watching because we were slipping and sliding everywhere.”

Ty Dillon would climb his way back up to fifth after having to pit following a flat tire after he and Larson made contact at lap 86. Larson would go around, though didn’t slow down at all as he kept it going at the front of the field. Dillon would bring the caution out a couple laps later with the flat tire. Under the caution, Dillon would take four tires and fuel, resulting in a penalty in being put down a lap and non-damaged tires put back on as teams were not allowed to change all four tires or put fuel in the truck.

“The confusion to start with was whether we could get put on four tires, or two. The official told us that we could put four tires on – so we did,” crew chief Danny Stockman explained the confusion. “Then we came back in and took the two tires off, and when you do that, you get mismatched tires. It’s just unfortunate. We had a shot to win and it’s all good – we’re coming from the back to win it.”

Dillon would get the lucky dog under the competition yellow at lap 110, before driving his way from 27th to fifth in the final four laps.

“That would’ve been nice to bunch up the field one more time,” Dillon commented. “I think that would’ve been beneficial to us to get back up there and have a shot at Wallace. We came out here just to have a lot of fun and sort of got messed with – I mean, messed up the interpretation of the rules. I think Kyle slid up, sliding someone and he got crossed up, leaving me nowhere to go. Just confusion over what tires to change and putting fuel in it. I hope we put in a good show for the guys as it’s an awesome race.”

John Hunter Nemechek finished sixth, followed by Jeb Burton, Johnny Sauter, Matt Crafton and Austin Dillon.

Kyle Larson would finish 26th after battling with Wallace in the final laps to the finish as a result of a flat tire on his truck following multiple taps off the wall.

“I’d say it’s a few steps over the limit. Thanks to Turner-Scott for building a strong truck to out last the night,” Larson commented post-race. “The longer we waited to do this interview, the stupider that I realized I was driving. Darrell was solid all day and after I did the slide job there, I just kept getting sucked into the wall there. I don’t know, frustrating.”

Pole sitter Erik Jones would finish 29th after having to go behind the wall for a brake line repair after making heavy contact the wall, causing damage to his track.

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