Bubba Wallace Wins First Truck Race Since 2014 at Michigan
BROOKLYN, MI – RIS – Darrell “Bubba” Wallace Jr. hadn’t been in a Camping World truck for three years, but on Saturday at Michigan International Speedway, he started again and won. It was his fifth truck series victory. After taking the lead in his No. 99 Chevrolet with about 10 laps remaining, Wallace had to contend with Austin Cindric and Bell toward the end. He edged Bell by 0.176 seconds.
"I knew those last laps were going to be hectic," Wallace said.
Wallace hadn't driven in a Truck race since 2014, when he won four times. He drove full time on the Xfinity Series in 2015 and 2016. He actually has a two-race winning streak in Truck races, since he won the finale three years ago.
Kyle Busch won the first two stages Saturday and looked dominant, but his car showed a bit of damage after an incident in which Cody Coughlin bounced hard off a barrier to the inside. Busch fought back but had to settle for third place in the 100-lap, 200-mile race.
Cindric led for a while, but when he and Bell fought for the lead with about 10 laps remaining, Wallace was able to pass them both .
"It came way too early. I did not want to make that move," Wallace said. "But I also didn't want to be a sitting duck and let that opportunity go to waste."
"For the rest of the year, I don't know," Wallace said. "Think we can line something up more with Maestro's here. I think they're all pumped up. I mean, I had to go out there and win for them, so they have to come back for a second one at least. ... Nothing set in stone for right now. I'll be on the sidelines again for three weeks, three months — who knows?"
Ryan Truex finished fourth, followed by Cindric and pole winner Matt Crafton.
Wallace started the season at Roush Fenway Racing, driving a Ford Mustang for that organization, but sponsorship couldn’t be found and Roush loaned him to Richard Petty Motorsports to sub for injured driver Aric Almirola. After Almirola’s return, Wallace has been idle and his future is uncertain, though Richard Petty is apparently trying to put together a package for him in his second Cup car.
RIS NASCAR Editor. Has been with RIS since the middle 90's. Writes on each of the three main series of NASCAR.