ROSSBURG, Ohio – Darrell Wallace Jr. proved he was the man to beat on Wednesday night at Eldora Speedway.
Wallace dominated the 1-800-CarCash Mudsummer Classic NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race, leading 98 of 150 laps and fending off a late challenge from Kyle Larson to score his third career win.
It wasn’t as easy as Wallace made it look, however. Larson passed Wallace in the closing stages, but Wallace’s No. 54 Kyle Busch Motorsports Toyota stormed back in front of Larson’s No. 32 Turner Scott Motorsports Chevy, then held on in the final laps to take the victory.
It’s the 10th win in as many CWTS races for Toyota this season, the eighth for KBM and one Wallace said he’ll never forget.
“That’s so cool, (winning) on dirt at Eldora,” Wallace said. “It’s awesome here. The cool thing about it is, I came into this kind of skeptical. I knew we’d run top-five. I was worried about the Toyota streak, I’m not going to lie.”
As it turned out, he had no reason to worry.
Aside from Larson, who pounded the wall multiple times in his quest to pass Wallace, no one had Wallace’s mix of speed and handling.
“Huge thanks to Turner Scott Motorsports for making a truck that strong,” said Larson, who wound up 26th after falling off the pace with one lap to go due to considerable damage.
“After the last restart, I kept getting sucked into the fence every time I’d get close to the cushion.”
Ron Hornaday Jr. finished second. Ryan Blaney, Ken Schrader – in his first CWTS start of the season – and Ty Dillon rounded out the top five.
John Hunter Nemechek, Jeb Burton, Johnny Sauter, Matt Crafton and 2013 winner Austin Dillon completed the top 10.
Ty Dillon rebounded for a top-five finish after making contact with Larson, spinning him out, and cutting his own left-rear tire down in the process.
“If they could’ve bunched up the field one more time, it would’ve benefitted us,” Dillon said. “We’d have gotten one more shot at Darrell.”
Polesitter Erik Jones, Wallace’s KBM teammate, encountered tire issues after leading the first 24 laps. He finished 29th.
Jones, Jeb Burton, Hornaday, Ryan Blaney and Johnny Sauter won heats. John Wes Townley claimed the last-chance qualifier.