Darrell Wallace Jr. Wins Blue Ox 100
Darrell Wallace Jr. Celebrates in Gatorade Victory Lane
Wallace, Jr., a 17-year old rising star from Mobile, Alabama, powered his way to a 2.718 second win over a hard charging Brett Moffitt. Corey LaJoie passed 18 cars on his way to third place, finishing 0.122 seconds behind Moffitt. Pole-sitter Max Gresham finished fourth with Alex Bowman rounding out the top 5.
Wallace, Jr.'s victory is the first by an African-American driver in Richmond International Raceway history.
“Oh man, it means a lot to win at a big track," Wallace Jr. said. "We pretty much annihilated the race. I want to thank Gresham for racing me clean. I’m excited! I was able to cut the center really well in turns one and two and was able to get him.”
“It was very difficult at the end of the race," according to Moffitt. "I wouldn’t say we were a winning car, but we worked hard. I was digging down deep.”
LaJoie credited Sprint Cup driver Kevin Harvick for giving him vital tips.
“My car was junk all day, but Kevin Harvick gave me some advice that I hadn’t even thought of for getting around here. I don’t want to give away any of those secrets for getting around here.”
Gresham led the field to the green flag under darkening skies. Gresham was leading Wallace, Jr. when the yellow flag waved due to rain on Lap 22. Andrew Ranger held down the third spot ahead of Bowman and Moffitt. After seven laps under yellow, officials red-flagged the event on lap 29.
Racing resumed after a 100-minute rain delay. 11 more laps were run under yellow as the track dried out.
Green flag racing started again on Lap 40 with Gresham holding on to the lead. Ranger got the jump on Wallace, Jr. but would give up the position again a few laps later. On lap 54, Wallace Jr. pulled up next to Gresham and raced him side by side, until he was able to make the pass for the lead on Lap 57.
Moffitt got around Ranger but wasn’t able to make an impression on the leaders.
On Lap 72, Ryan Gifford was pushed into a spin by CJ Faison as the two battled over the same piece of race track entering turn one, bringing out the yellow flag.
The green waived again on Lap 78 with Gresham and Wallace, Jr. battling side-by-side all around the track. Wallace was able to make the pass stick on lap 80.
On lap 80, Travis Pastrana pancaked the wall in turn one after cutting a right front tire, but was able to make it around the track without bringing out the yellow.
With 10 laps to go Wallace, Jr. lead Gresham, Moffitt and Sergio Pena. With five laps to go, Moffitt got around Gresham, followed shortly by Corey LaJoie.
The average speed of the race was 81.274mph.