For the first time this season, Darrell Wallace Jr. will start in a NASCAR Nationwide Series event that will coincide with the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event on that same weekend. Wallace Jr. will make his third start of the year behind the wheel of the No. 20 Dollar General Toyota this coming weekend at Richmond International Raceway. Richmond holds a special place in Wallace’s heart, as the 18-year-old picked up a NASCAR K&N Pro Series East win at the track last season. Wallace Jr. will also team with one of Joe Gibbs Racing’s vaunted Cup drivers for the first time, as he will be able to rely on the teachings of Denny Hamlin, who will drive the JGR No. 18 Toyota this weekend at Richmond.
A TRACK RECORD THAT’S NOT TOO SHABBY: Despite the fact that the Richmond event will just be Wallace’s third-career NASCAR Nationwide Series race, the youngster already has quite the impressive track record. Wallace made his Nationwide Series debut earlier this season at Iowa Speedway with an impressive eighth-place start and ninth-place finish. If that didn’t turn heads enough in his series debut, Wallace backed it up by narrowly missing the pole (he started second), leading 36 laps and finishing seventh in his second series race, which also came at Iowa. In addition to his impressive Nationwide Series stats, Wallace Jr. has six wins, 13 top-fives and 22 top-10s in 32-career NASCAR K&N Pro Series East races.
DRIVERS TEE UP FOR DG LITERACY FOUNDATION: Brian Scott will be joined by teammates Joey Logano and Darrell Wallace Jr. on Monday, September 10 to participate in the 20th annual Dollar General Literacy Foundation Golf Classic in Nashville, Tennessee. Since its inception in 1993, the Dollar General Literacy Foundation Golf Classic has raised over $13 million in support of literacy initiatives throughout Dollar General’s operating market.
VIRGINIA NATIVES VENTURE HOME: Crew chief Kevin Kidd and interior and tire specialist Ryan Martin will both be making visits to their home state this week. Kidd is a native of Tazewell, Virginia and graduated from Virginia Tech with a degree in mechanical engineering in 2001. Martin hails from Mechanicsville, Virginia, less than 10 miles from Richmond International Raceway. The Hanover High School alum started his career in motorsports competing in flat track motorcycle races at Amelia Motor Raceway in Amelia, Virginia.
THIS WEEK ON THE NO. 18 DOLLAR GENERAL TOYOTA: Dollar General vendor partners Powerade, Gillette Venus, Reach, Arrid, Frosted Flakes, Glad, First Quality, Tums, Angel Soft, Sundown and Eckrich will be featured on Joe Gibbs Racing’s No. 18 Toyota Camry this weekend at Bristol Motor Speedway.
THE RACE: The Virginia 529 College Savings 250 at Richmond International Raceway (Richmond, VA; .75-mile oval) is set for Friday, September 7th. Watch and listen live on ESPN, Sirius XM Channel 90 and MRN Radio starting at 7:00 p.m. ET.
Darrell Wallace Jr. on Richmond: “I’m really excited to get back behind the wheel of the Dollar General Toyota this weekend. I had a great time at both of the Iowa events I ran earlier this season, but there is something even more special about running this weekend in Richmond. To get a chance to run the Nationwide race on a companion weekend and get the chance to race against some of the biggest Cup Series starts would be huge. When those guys are out there, you know they are the best of the best so to be able to get to learn something from them and maybe even beat a couple of them is going to be awesome. I know it’s a hot topic on whether people want to see Cup drivers in the field in the Nationwide Series. But to me, I love seeing them here, because as a driver, you always want to race against the best of the best because the best can only help make you better.
“I’m also looking forward to going to Richmond because it’s another track that I’m familiar with and I feel that will give me an advantage going into the weekend. And while it’s not exactly like Iowa, there are also some things that you can take from Iowa and put toward Richmond and I think that will just help me. I want to feel comfortable out there and be able to do my best. So getting another shot at Richmond, a track I’m already comfortable with and one that I’ve actually won at before, is big for me.”
Crew chief Kevin Kidd on Richmond: ““It’s always a lot of fun to head back to my home state. Being from not that far away and not having the Nationwide Series run at Martinsville, Richmond is my home track and it is always so enjoyable to go back there. Richmond is a very tough track where the driver has to be on their game. They can really make the car handle a certain way based off of their throttle and braking habits. The track is also very line sensitive. From the setup aspect, it is a unique track in the way turn one entry loads. It presents an interesting challenge that we don’t often deal with. Typically the car that is rolling speed through the middle and doesn’t have to sacrifice his exit speed to do that is the car to beat.”