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Trucks: Wallace wins for KBM at Gateway

Darrell Wallace Jr.continued the run of Truck Series wins for Kyle Busch Motorsport with an impressive victory at Gateway Motorsports Park in Illinois.
CLICK: Full race results, plus qualifying and practice speeds and full Camping World Truck Series championship standings.

Darrell Wallace Jr. landed his second victory in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series on Saturday evening with victory under the floodlights in the Drivin' for Linemen 200 at Gateway Motorsports Park, the fifth win from seven races in 2014 for Kyle Busch Motorsports and continuing a season sweep to date for Toyota.

"This Made In America Toyota Tundra was on a roll tonight," said Wallace Jr. in victory lane. "We got into a little trouble the first pit stop, but a little adversity never hurts anybody. We come through. I'm so proud of my guys, they worked their tails off."

It was the first time that the Truck Series had raced at the 1.25-mile oval in Madison, Illinois - just east of St. Louis, Missouri - since 2010 meaning that most of the young field were getting their first taste of the venue. With the Cup and Nationwide regulars indisposed at Michigan, only nine of the 28 drivers competing this weekend had raced at Gateway before - not that this had in any way daunted Cole Custer, who had earlier in the day became the youngest pole winner in the series at the age of 16 years old, 4 months and 22 days.

Starting alongside Custer from the front row, Wallace had taken the lead from the pole sitter just before an early caution for Justin Jennings hitting the wall in turn 4. Wallace maintained the lead for the first 62 laps, but a problem on pit lane when the jack malfunctioned while the crew were still working on his rear-left wheel left the #51 with slight damage, and more seriously cost him time and position.

The points leader coming into this weekend, Matt Crafton, took over the lead of the race on an interim basis, but a restart on lap 78 following Ray Black Jr. hitting the wall after contact with Custer allowed John Hunter Nemechek to steal the lead and maintain it through to the next round of pit stops. A new caution soon followed on lap 123 when Crafton smacked the wall in turn 4 as a consequence of a right-front tyre blowing out.

"Just cut a tyre," Crafton said. "Such a fast truck and it was handling great but there was nothing I could do when the tyre goes except go into the wall."

Wallace had battled back from his early setback to put himself into a position to reclaim the lead at the restart after a thrilling duel, with his KBM team mate Erik Jones moving into second place ahead of a three-way battle for third between Nemechek, German Quiroga Jr. and Timothy Peters that came to a climax on lap 146 when Nemechek spun after following contact with Quiroga that blew out the #8's left-rear tyre, triggering a new caution.

Jones took the lead at the restart and then came under heavy pressure from Quiroga, which ended in contact that sent Jones spinning out in turn 3 with seven laps remaining. "I guess we just got dumped again," fumed Jones, unhappy with Quiroga's aggressive driving. "I don't know what to do about that. I felt like it was our race. We had a great truck and I felt like we should have been there in victory lane."

But Quiroga rejected the blame for the incident: "He started getting loose and drove in really deep into 1 and he was slowing a lot on the exit and was already sideways, and I just kept on driving straight trying not to hit him.

Wallace got a better restart at the final green flag and after some door-banging action he was finally able to move back in front of Quiroga with four laps to go, and maintained his edge at the front to the chequered flag.

“It was a wild race," said Wallace, who was disappointed that his team mate hadn't been able to be there to make it a KBM 1-2. "Such a bummer for Erik, man. Me and him were so fast. Kyle [Busch] was not in the race but [his trucks] dominated the race pretty much."

"I wish it was first and not second," said Quiroga of his evening's work, which included running out of gas just before his first pit stop of the night that had left him playing catch-up all evening. "We were really strong, we ran out of fuel, we came through the field, but it was good, my truck was really, really fast.

"I'm really happy for everyone at Red Horse Racing," he continued. "This was good for our comeback for championship points. Everyone got really excited at the end, we were defending our position, I saw an opportunity to win my first race and I didn't want to let it go, so I drove as hard as everyone else. We're getting there, getting closer to a win."

In the championship standings, Johnny Sauter moves into the lead by 10 points after finishing in fourth place behind Peters, after his team mate Matt Crafton's accident left the #88 classified in a costly 26th place. In the owners standings, the KBM #51 continues to lead despite crashing out late at Gateway, but its points advantage over the ThorSport Racing #98 is cut to just 11 points.

Full race results, plus qualifying and practice speeds and full Camping World Truck Series championship standings.



Related Pictures

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Darrell Wallace Jr., driver of the #54 Toyota Toyota leads the pack during the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Drivin` for Linemen 200 at Gateway Motorsports Park on June 14, 2014 in Madison, Illinois.  (Photo Credit: Dilip Vishwanat/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Darrell Wallace Jr., driver of the Toyota Toyota, celebrates with a burn out after winning the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Drivin` For Linemen 200 at Gateway Motorsports Park on June 14, 2014 in Madison, Illinois. (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Ford, puts the winner`s sticker on his car in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series MyAFibStory.com 400 at Chicagoland Speedway on September 14, 2014 in Joliet, Illinois. (Photo Credit: Matt Sullivan/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Aric Almirola, driver of the #43 Eckrich Ford, races Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy John`s Chevrolet, during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series MyAFibStory.com 400 at Chicagoland Speedway on September 14, 2014 in Joliet, Illinois. (Photo Credit: Sarah Glenn/Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #5 Jimmy John`s Chevrolet, celebrates with his son, Keelan, in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series Jimmy John`s Freaky Fast 300 at Chicagoland Speedway on September 13, 2014 in Joliet, Illinois. (Photo Credit: Nick Laham/Getty Images)
Matt Crafton, driver of the #88 Splash-FVP/Menards Toyota, leads a pack of trucks during the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Lucas Oil 225 at Chicagoland Speedway on September 13 2014 in Joliet, Illinois. (Photo Credit: Matt Sullivan/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Johnny Sauter, driver of the #98 Nextant/Curb Records Toyota, leads the field through the green flag to start the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Lucas Oil 225 at Chicagoland Speedway on September 13, 2014 in Joliet, Illinois.  (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #51 Dollar General Toyota, crosses the finishline to win the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Lucas Oil 225 at Chicagoland Speedway on September 13, 2014 in Joliet, Illinois. (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #51 Dollar General Toyota, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Lucas Oil 225 at Chicagoland Speedway on September 13, 2014 in Joliet, Illinois. (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #51 Dollar General Toyota, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning during the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Lucas Oil 225 at Chicagoland Speedway on September 13, 2014 in Joliet, Illinois. (Photo Credit: Daniel Shirey/Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #51 Dollar General Toyota, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning during the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Lucas Oil 225 at Chicagoland Speedway on September 13, 2014 in Joliet, Illinois. (Photo Credit: Daniel Shirey/Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #5 Jimmy John`s Chevrolet, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series Jimmy John`s Freaky Fast 300 at Chicagoland Speedway on September 13, 2014 in Joliet, Illinois. (Photo Credit: Matt Sullivan/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #5 Jimmy John`s Chevrolet, takes the chequered flag to win the NASCAR Nationwide Series Jimmy John`s Freaky Fast 300 at Chicagoland Speedway on September 13, 2014 in Joliet, Illinois. (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #5 Jimmy John`s Chevrolet, celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series Jimmy John`s Freaky Fast 300 at Chicagoland Speedway on September 13, 2014 in Joliet, Illinois. (Photo Credit: Nick Laham/Getty Images)
Brian Scott, driver of the #2 Shore Lodge Chevrolet, leads thre field past the green flag to start during the NASCAR Nationwide Series Jimmy John`s Freaky Fast 300 at Chicagoland Speedway on September 13, 2014 in Joliet, Illinois. (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images)
German Quiroga, driver of the #77 NET10 Wireless Toyota, stands on the grid during qualifying for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Lucas Oil 225 at Chicagoland Speedway on September 12, 2014 in Joliet, Illinois. (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Darrell Wallace Jr., driver of the #54 ToyotaCare Toyota, sits on the grid under an umbrella prior to qualifying for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Lucas Oil 225 at Chicagoland Speedway on September 12, 2014 in Joliet, Illinois.  (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images)
(Back Row L-R) Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive to End Hunger Chevrolet, Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota, Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Toyota, Carl Edwards, driver of the #99 Kelloggs/Frosted Flakes Ford, Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Catepillar Chevrolet, Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford, Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet, Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 Dollar General Toyota, Aric Almirola, driver of the #43 Gwaltney Ford, (Front Row L- R) Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Ford, Greg Biffle, driver of the #16 3M Call Before You Dig Ford, AJ Allmendinger, driver of the #47 Bush`s Beans Chevrolet, Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Farmers Insurance Chevrolet, Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Insurance Chevrolet, and Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Farmers Insurance Chevrolet, pose with the Sprint Cup Trophy after qualifying for the Chase for the Sprint Cup during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (Photo Credit: Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

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