By: Nick Bromberg –
Darrell Wallace drove away from the field over the final few laps to grab his first Camping World Series Truck win on Saturday and become the first African-American to win a national NASCAR race since Wendell Scott did it in 1963.
Wallace, who had tears streaming down his face in victory lane, is a graduate of NASCAR’s Drive for Diversity, an initiative that was started in 2004 by the sanctioning body to help encourage women and minorities to get into the sport. And while Kyle Larson, another drive for Diversity graduate, is moving to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series next season, Wallace is now the program’s first winner.
Scott’s only NASCAR Grand National Series win came in 1963 at Jacksonville, when the Grand National Series was then NASCAR’s premier Series. The Camping World Truck Series is currently NASCAR’s third-tier series, and Wallace, who is signed to a developmental contract with Joe Gibbs Racing, is in his first season with Kyle Busch Motorsports in the trucks and is NASCAR’s fourth African-American driver. (Busch drives for JGR in the Sprint Cup Series.
Wallace won six times throughout his career in NASCAR’s K&N East Series, a minor league circuit for NASCAR’s national series. He has long been touted as one of NASCAR’s up-and-coming stars and has showed that with three top 10s in four Nationwide Series starts last season and four previous top fives in the Truck Series this season.
And Saturday’s win will only cement that status. After a late restart for an incident between Kevin Harvick and Ty Dillon that involved some fun verbal jabbing afterwards, Wallace drove away from Brendan Gaughan for the win and was so far ahead on the final lap that he didn’t have to worry about Gaughan in his mirror as the tears started to flow.