Martinsville, VA (SportsNetwork.com) - Darrell Wallace Jr. won a Camping World Truck Series race at Martinsville Speedway for the second year in a row after he passed Johnny Sauter for the lead with 13 laps to go in Saturday's Kroger 200.
Wallace started on the pole and led 97 of 200 laps, but Sauter overtook him for the top spot with 16 laps remaining around this 0.526-mile, paperclip- shaped track.
Three laps later, Sauter, Wallace and German Quiroga were three-wide for the lead, but Quiroga bumped into Sauter and spun out. Wallace had just moved into the top position when the caution flag waved for the 11th and final time.
Wallace pulled away from the field after the last restart with six lap left. He went on to score his third win of the season and the fourth of his Truck Series career.
"I wasn't worried about anybody, honesty," Wallace said. "They kept telling me where everybody was, and I said that I didn't care. It's our weekend, and we're going to take home this (grandfather) clock (trophy for race winner) with us, and we just did that. It was so much fun."
One year ago, Wallace made history at Martinsville by becoming just the second African-American driver to win a NASCAR national touring series race. NASCAR Hall of Fame inductee Wendell Scott was the first African-American driver to win a NASCAR national event, doing so on Dec. 1, 1963 at Jacksonville (Fla.) Speedway Park.
In honoring Scott and his 2015 induction into the NASCAR HoF, Wallace drove the No. 34 Toyota this weekend at Martinsville. It was the same number used by Scott throughout his stock car racing career. Wallace's paint scheme was also reminiscent of the blue and white scheme Scott drove. Wallace is normally in the No. 54 entry for Kyle Busch Motorsports.
Scott passed away in 1990, at the age of 69.
"Martinsville is my favorite place to come to," Wallace said. "This is a special moment and a perfect weekend for us. It's a true honor to have Wendell Scott on our Toyota Tundra and to be able to put it in victory lane. I know he (Scott) just said, 'Hell yeah' up there. This is cool."
Timothy Peters, who won last weekend's race at Talladega, bumped Sauter out of the way and moved into second with three laps to go, but Peters crossed the finish line 0.5 seconds behind Wallace.
Matt Crafton, the current points leader and defending series champion, finished third after he had won the spring race at Martinsville in March. Crafton now holds an 18-point advantage over Ryan Blaney, who placed fifth. Erik Jones was fourth.
With the win, Wallace moved to within 22 points of Crafton.
Sauter, who ended up finishing seventh, was furious with Peters after the race had concluded. He ran into the back of Peters' truck on pit road. Sauter then had to be restrained by NASCAR officials and his crew members when he got into a heated argument with Peters.
"It's just Martinsville, you know what I mean," Peters said.
Sauter remained fourth in the standings. He is now 40 points behind Crafton, his ThorSport Racing teammate.
Three races remain. The series will run at Texas on Friday night and then compete at Phoenix on Nov. 7 before the season wraps up on Nov. 14 at Homestead.
This race featured 11 cautions, mostly for accidents, including a six-truck incident on lap 137.
With 50 laps remaining, John Wes Townley and Brandon Jones brought out the ninth caution and forced a stoppage of the race for 11 minutes after both drivers crashed hard. Tyler Reddick bumped Townley from behind and put him into the wall. He then collected Jones, causing heavy damage to the front end of their trucks.