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Trucks

Executing is a Key for Gragson to Conquer the Title at Miami

HOMESTEAD, Fla – Noah Gragson will be making his last NASCAR Camping World Truck Series start for Kyle Busch Motorsports this weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Last month, JR Motorsports announced that Gragson will be running full-time in the NASCAR XFINITY Series next season. But before that, Gragson has one last job which is to win the championship.

After a solid season in his sophomore year in the Truck Series, Gragson has proven he deserved the opportunity as his skill and learning experience placed him in position to run for a championship.

“I definitely feel that everything I learned in the past, well really the past six years that I’ve been racing I feel like all that combined has really helped me out to be in this position,” Gragson said. “And the people, it’s all about people and the people you work with and fortunately we’re surrounded by great people at Kyle Busch Motorsports, Toyota Racing Development who have helped me get to this point these last two years so just really fortunate to be in this spot.”

Starting at KBM with Marcus Richmond calling the shots, the veteran brought his experience and knowledge to the No. 18 team which has helped Gragson develop as a driver. Last season, as Gragson ran his first full-time year in the Truck Series, he was able to pull off his first victory at Martinsville Speedway.

The 2017 season also turned out to be a season of experience, where Gragson learned from every angle as the youngster matured. With all of that said, we can say that put him in position to be where he is now with Rudy Fugle now calling the shots.

As he runs for his first Truck Series title tonight in the Ford Ecoboost 200, Gragson is focused on executing and ultimately putting his truck in the best position against his three competitors that are also running for the championship.

“I’m just focused on executing and doing whatever I need to do,” Gragson said. “I can’t think about the trophy, just have to think of how to get to the trophy and to finish first you have to first finish. I’m just focused on execution and doing my job and the rest will pay off.”

This season, Gragson has a win, seven top-five finishes and an average finish of 8.7. Homestead has not been the friendliest track for Gragson where he has had two prior starts, and his best finish has been 15th.

His final full-time start in the Truck Series may be what puts the cherry on top of the ice cream. The past two seasons, Gragson has been fortunate to gain plenty of experience and work with an excellent group of guys so conquering the title will not only be huge for him but also everyone back at the shop that has put so much work into the team.

EMAIL BRANDON AT: brandon.rivero@popularspeed.com

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The thoughts and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of PopularSpeed.com, its owners, management or other contributors. Any links contained in this article should not be considered an endorsement.

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Trucks

Moffitt Hopes to Make History with Hattori Racing Enterprises

Miami Beach, FL – It has been a historic year for Hattori Racing Enterprises. The team announced before the season that Brett Moffitt would take over the No. 16 Toyota Tundra, replacing Ryan Truex. After missing the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Playoffs in 2017, they were seeking to bring someone on board that would lead them to consistency, wins, and a playoff run.

Brett Moffitt began the season not knowing if he would run the entire year as sponsorship for some races were a question. However, his performance on the track, highlighted by five victories, allowed him to secure funding for every event on the schedule.

On Friday night, Moffitt will race for his first ever Truck Series championship. Shigeaki Hattori’s decision to bring back a familiar face to the team has paid off.

Moffitt raced for HRE back in 2012 in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East where he was victorious two times. His success led him to becoming a test driver for Michael Waltrip Racing where he eventually made a few Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series starts.

With the nature of his success this season, it seems like he has made himself at home back with HRE. Before the season, Moffitt had never run a full-time season in the Truck Series.

“Shigeaki has pretty much built a whole new team from then,” Moffitt said. “I feel like he’s got a lot better people in place and I would say my experience in the past has helped because I have worked with Scott Zipadeli in the past. I’ve worked with my truck chief in the past and I’ve worked with a lot of guys in the team in the past throughout different race organizations, so I would say that helped us bond quicker but as to the K&N with Shigeaki I wouldn’t really say it helped with anything.”

Moffitt had proved well before he belonged in the Truck Series full-time. Back in 2016, he won his first ever Truck Series race at Michigan International Speedway for Red Horse Racing.

Unfortunately, finding the right team with funding has always been a struggle for Moffitt. Now being stabilized with HRE this season, he has showcased his talent.

The Iowa native won’t have it easy on Friday night. He’ll be competing against two youngsters that are hungry for a championship and a driver with years of experience under his belt. Nonetheless, Moffitt is just as poised as them and is hoping he’ll be the one standing tall on the podium after the race holding the trophy they’ve all been working hard to gain.

EMAIL BRANDON AT: brandon.rivero@popularspeed.com

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The thoughts and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of PopularSpeed.com, its owners, management or other contributors. Any links contained in this article should not be considered an endorsement.

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Trucks

Kentucky Native Rhodes Speeds to Victory at Home Track

SPARTA, Ky. –The Louisville Slugger knocked it out of the park on Thursday night at Kentucky Speedway.

Ben Rhodes, who grew up less than an hour west of the venue in Sparta, Kentucky, finally won a NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at his home track.

A fuel-only gamble by the No. 41 ThorSport Racing team in the closing laps paid off for the 21-year-old Louisville native, who led the final 24 laps of the Buckle Up In Your Truck 225.

Rhodes held off Stewart Friesen by .922-seconds at the line for his first win of the season and the first victory for ThorSport since switching to Ford Performance at the start of 2018.

“I still don’t have any words,” Rhodes said after his second-career win in the Camping World Truck Series. “This is amazing, a dream come true. This has been such a long time coming. These guys deserved it so much. They’ve been working their butts off and we’ve been having such bad luck this year.

“We’ve had trucks like this all year long, finally we could showcase it. I’m so proud of this team. This is exactly what we needed.”

Friesen came from the rear of the field after the team was forced to change engines prior to the race to finish second – tying his career-best from Texas Motor Speedway earlier this year.

“We had an engine problem during time trials and the whole team stepped in,” Friesen said. “It was awesome. We had less than an hour to go to swap ’em out and we had a good finish. We led some laps. Didn’t get off the way we needed to on pit road at the end and it was the difference of about 100 yards and a lot of clean air. Proud of the guys, but I made a little mistake there and it cost us.”

Matt Crafton, Brandon Jones, John Hunter Nemechek, Grant Enfinger, Todd Gilliland, Noah Gragson, Dalton Sergeant and Justin Haley rounded out the top 10.

Rhodes passed pole sitter Noah Gragson with three laps remaining in the first segment to win Stage 1. Gragson came back to win Stage 2. Parker Kligerman led the field to green for the final segment. Friesen swapped spots with Kligerman and finally gained control of the point by Lap 89.

Rhodes came from fifth to second with a bold move taking Kligerman and Brandon Jones three-wide to gain the position. Although Friesen led 37 laps, a problem in the pits with the right rear tire proved costly for the No. 52 Chevrolet on Lap 124. Rhodes gained the lead before pitting on the next lap.

Crew chief Eddie Troconis elected to pit for fuel only and a chassis adjustment. Although he had the lead entering pit road, a fire in the pit ahead of him left a cloud of smoke blocking his view of his box.

“I was really worried,” Rhodes said. “I came in with the pit stall on fire in front of us. I almost missed my stall with all the smoke coming out.”

Still, Rhodes cycled out to the lead with Friesen in second place.

“It was a bold move, but that’s how you win, you win with bold moves,” Troconis said. “That’s what we came here to show them that we’re going to win this championship. This kid has a lot of talent.”

With 15 laps remaining, Rhodes’ lead was just over .32-seconds over Friesen. But after Rhodes settled in he extended his advantage over the Friesen in the closing laps.

“A huge thank you to Ford Performance, ThorSport Racing and Carolina Nut Company,” Rhodes said. “They’ve been behind us 100 percent. This is our first win with Ford this year for ThorSport, so I’m pretty happy about that.”

Johnny Sauter, who suffered a speeding penalty on pit road late in the race finished 15th but retained the points lead by 42 over Noah Gragson.

The only caution other than the completion of stages occurred on the first lap of the race when Tyler Matthews made contact with Nemechek and spun the No. 83 truck.

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Trucks

Johnny Sauter Tames Monster Mile to win Truck Series Race at Dover

DOVER, Del. — After what had happened moments earlier, Johnny Sauter’s victory in a two-lap overtime shootout seemed almost routine by comparison.

Sauter, who turned 40 on May 1, held off fellow 40-something Matt Crafton to win Friday’s JEGS 200 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Dover International Speedway — but not until Sauter won an intense struggle against pole winner Noah Gragson, whose race ended on the next-to-last lap of regulation when his No. 18 Toyota backed hard into the outside wall.

The victory was Sauter’s second straight at Dover, his second of the season and the 19th of his career. And it came during a bittersweet week for GMS Racing, after Spencer Gallagher, the son of team owner Maury Gallagher, won his first NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Talladega and on Tuesday was suspended indefinitely for a violation of NASCAR’s substance abuse policy.

“Tough week for the Gallagher family—this one’s for Spencer,” Sauter said. “He’s a smart kid, and he’ll get it right.”

Gragson grabbed the lead from Sauter one circuit after a restart on Lap 188 of a scheduled 200, but Sauter wasn’t finished. With six laps left, Sauter got a strong run to the outside, but Gragson cut him off, and Sauter’s No. 21 Chevrolet tapped the wall.

“We had to work for this one today,” Sauter said. “Noah, I had a good run on him there, and he squeezed me off. And I was like, ‘He just gave me the green light to be aggressive.’ This was just hard racing right there.”

The drivers were racing side-by-side for the lead coming to the white flag when Gragson’s attempt to side-draft Sauter’s Silverado went awry. Gragson lost control and crashed, destroying the rear end of his Kyle Busch Motorsports Tundra.

Gragson, who won’t turn 20 until July 15, was disconsolate when he left the infield care center after the wreck.

“I’m really disappointed in myself,” he said. “It’s just a racing deal. These things are so hard to win, and I was so close to getting my first win (of the season). I went up to side-draft him and got pointed to the inside wall and went up to side-draft him again—and it was just a racing deal.

“Not the way I try to race people. I take full responsibility in that right there. It was a hundred percent my fault. It’s just unacceptable on my part. Man, I was so close to winning. All I can think about is just the mistake I made. I really wanted to get that monster (trophy). This is such a bad-ass track, and not to be able to get it done … I’m just devastated.”

After Gragson’s wreck and subsequent cleanup, the race restarted on Lap 209. Crafton got an excellent restart and held his own against Sauter through the first two corners but couldn’t clear him. Sauter then pulled out to a two car-length lead and took the checkered flag a lap later.

“We just did not have short-run speed,” said the 41-year-old Crafton. “For whatever reason, it would just not fire off. I had a really good restart there at the end, and I moved him up as far as I could. I was waiting for Stevie (Reeves), the spotter to tell me, ‘Clear, clear.’ I knew I was close, real close.

“Johnny turned 40 this week, so he’s part of the old man crew, and we got a lot of flak this week by being the 40-year-olds, but the 40-year-olds showed the kids how to do it, I guess.”

One of those kids, 19-year-old Justin Haley, ran a solid, consistent third. David Gilliland came home fourth in his second start of the season, and Harrison Burton finished fifth. Cody Coughlin, Joe Nemechek, Ben Rhodes, Jesse Little and Todd Gilliland (David’s son) completed the top 10.

Sauter extended his series lead to 51 points over second-place Rhodes and 58 over third-place Gragson. The series races next at Kansas Speedway with Friday’s 250-miler (8:30 p.m. ET, FS1).

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Trucks

John Hunter Nemechek Forced to Make Up Ground

John Hunter Nemechek is going to have his work cut out for him if he wants to make it to the Championship 4 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

Kicking off the Round of 6 at Martinsville Speedway, Nemechek lost his brakes on Lap 37, backing the No. 8 Chevrolet into the outside retaining wall. With massive rear-end damage, he was forced behind the wall and out of the event.

“Just no brakes,” Nemechek said. “It didn’t give any warning; it didn’t get mushy. We were just riding around, biding our time, and I drove into (turn) one normal and hit the brake pedal, and it went straight to the floor. It sucks for our guys, sucks for our Fire Alarm Services truck. We had a fast truck in race trim, and I felt like we had a race contending truck and could’ve gotten some track position.”

He will now enter the next two events 23 points behind the cut-off line.

The next two tracks have produced a mix of results for the second generation racer, as well. Nemechek has only one top-10 (seventh in June 2016) in four races at Texas Motor Speedway, compared to three top-10’s in his last three starts at Phoenix Raceway, including a runner-up in November 2015.

Being near the cut-off line is something Nemechek has grown used to this year, though. He barely made the Round of 6 following a 20th-place finish in Las Vegas and surviving a crash at Talladega to post a top-10.

“It sucks to be out of the race this early, but we dug ourselves out of one hole in the first round,” Nemechek added. “So hopefully they  won’t know what hit them next week at Texas.”

Fighting back has been the theme for this season, as he started 2017 with five finishes outside of the top-20 in the first seven races before back-to-back victories locked him into the playoffs. 

Nemechek has experience in this situation, but when do you take too many chances at fate and fail to transfer? The next two weeks could prove to be too much, or show the perseverance that may propel the 20-year-old to his first championship. 

EMAIL ASHLEY AT ashley.mccubbin@popularspeed.com

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The thoughts and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of PopularSpeed.com, its owners, management or other contributors. Any links contained in this article should not be considered an endorsement

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News

Bold Outside Pass at Martinsville Sends Noah Gragson to Victory Lane

MARTINSVILLE, Va. – Blowing around two-time NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champion Matt Crafton after a restart with 10 laps left, 19-year-old Noah Gragson scored his first victory in Saturday’s Texas Roadhouse 200 at Martinsville Speedway.

The Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender frustrated Playoff competitors Crafton and Johnny Sauter, who finished second and third behind him. After talking the checkered flag, Gragson parked his No. 51 Kyle Busch Motorsports Toyota near the flag stand and climbed to the top of the frontstretch catchfence in celebration.

After Bayley Currey spun in his No. 50 Chevrolet to bring out the final caution on Lap 182, Crafton, then the race leader, chose the inside lane for the restart on Lap 191. But Gragson got a perfect drive through Turns 1 and 2, pulled ahead of Crafton on the backstretch and cleared him off Turn 4.

The Las Vegas native pulled away to win by 1.486 seconds.

“We got that caution there at the end, and you can’t pass on the outside in Martinsville – and I did it,” Gragson said. “To be racing here in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, it’s a privilege, and all those hours of hard work…

“I knew to myself this morning, I knew I could get it done. I’ve known it this whole year, and I told myself I’m going to get that trophy today, and that’s what we did.”

In a race that saw Playoff driver John Hunter Nemechek crash out after 37 laps because of a brake failure, Gragson held off Sauter during a 38-lap green-flag run that preceded the final caution. Though Sauter tattooed the rear bumper of the rookie throughout the run, Gragson held the position.

“Those last like 40 laps with Johnny Sauter being off my back bumper, he did that earlier to that to us in the spring, and I wasn’t going to let him pass me again like that,” Gragson said.

That proved decisive, as it put Gragson on the front row for the final restart. Though the bottom at Martinsville historically has been the preferred lane for a restart, Crafton had his doubts as he came to the green flag on Lap 191.

“I told (crew chief) Junior (Joiner) I might be crazy, but I thought the top was going to be the place to go on the restart,” Crafton said. “There was no rubber up there where the right-side tires were. I knew we were going to have our hands full…

“He had a perfect restart there – and I sucked.”

Harrison Burton ran fourth, scoring his first top five in the series 19 days after his 17th birthday. KBM teammate Todd Gilliland was fifth, followed by Stewart Friesen and Kaz Grala. Playoff drivers Christopher Bell, Ben Rhodes and Austin Cindric were eighth, ninth and 10th, respectively.

Crafton won the first 50-lap stage of the race and Sauter the second stage as both drivers chipped away at Bell’s series lead, which stands at three points over Sauter and 15 over Crafton with two races left in the Playoffs Round of 6.

A good points day was little consolation to the driver of the No. 88 Toyota.

“It just sucks to finish second,” Crafton said. “Just salt in the wound.”

Rhodes currently holds the fourth and final Playoff transfer position, with Cindric in fifth 11 points back of Rhodes, and Nemechek in sixth trailing Rhodes by 32 points after his 30th-place finish on Saturday.

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Trucks

A Well-Timed Victory for Rhodes

A driver’s ability to elevate their performance in the Playoffs is critical to success in NASCAR.

Ben Rhodes did so in Saturday night’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway as he captured his first career victory.

While the ThorSport Racing driver has come close to winning numerous times in his young career, he often fell short but having that first victory under his belt changes his outlook.

“Just the pressure to get the first win off was huge,” Rhodes said. “Now that that’s off, I feel like they’re going to come a lot easier now.”

The win is even more meaningful in the post-season picture. After barely making the Playoff field, he has locked up a spot in the Round of 6.

“We proved tonight that we belong in the Playoffs after coming so close to getting into it a couple of different times from wins and something goes wrong, and we didn’t make it in,” Rhodes said. “Now we got in by a tie, and we’re proving that we belong here and we’re going to the Round of 6.”

It also removes the unknown factor of Talladega Superspeedway as the first round elimination race. Although Rhodes felt confident about his chances, he will no longer need to worry about how it will impact his title hopes. 

“I never really felt the pressure for Talladega like a lot of people do in the series,” Rhodes said. “I was trying to let everyone else feel the pressure. I just saw it as a great opportunity.”

The No. 27 team’s focus now shifts to the Round of 6 that will determine who competes for the championship at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

Rhodes has typically performed best at 1.5-mile tracks on the schedule after dominating at Kansas in May before blowing an engine late while leading and winning at Las Vegas.

With two mile-and-a-half races remaining this season at Texas Motor Speedway and Homestead-Miami Speedway, two additional victories would propel him to the title.

While he did top Christopher Bell on Saturday, the Kyle Busch Motorsports driver remains the championship favorite, and has dominated at the intermediate venues this season with three victories and hasn’t shown any signs of slowing up.

Bell remains stout, but Rhodes could give him a run for his money if both competitors make the season finale.

Rhodes believes that there is no doubt that he will be one of four drivers contending for the title.

“This is going to help catapult us into Homestead,” Rhodes said.

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The thoughts and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of PopularSpeed.com, its owners, management or other contributors. Any links contained in this article should not be considered an endorsement.

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Trucks

Enfinger Could Be Sleeper Title Contender

The battle to earn a spot in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Playoffs is shaping up to create a competitive and dramatic end to the regular season.

With only eight spots available, many trucks capable of contending for the title will be left out.

Rookie Grant Enfinger currently sits ninth in the Playoff picture, nine points behind eighth-place Ryan Truex.

Enfinger had another impressive run in the UNOH 200 at Bristol Motor Speedway, placing fourth and earning his ninth top-10 finish of 2017.

The ThorSport Racing driver has quietly excelled this year. He has finished inside the top-five in six of the last nine races with a pair of season-best third-place finishes at Dover and Texas.

His consistency hasn’t made many headlines, but if he continues performing at this pace, the focus will soon be on him.

With just two events remaining before the Truck Series Playoffs begin at New Hampshire, Enfinger will need two strong runs in Canada and Chicago if he hopes to compete for the championship.

He will make his first career start at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park in the Chevrolet Silverado 250. While he made three road course starts in the ARCA Racing Series, this will be the most important of his career.

The 32-year-old competed at Chicagoland last season and finished sixth, showing that if he needs to run well there to earn his title bid, it’s possible.

If Enfinger makes it in, his strength this season will make him a major threat for the championship.

While he will be behind in the playoff points column, the format often favors an underdog, and he could fill that role.

The key for the No. 98 team will be making it through the first two rounds as everything resets at Homestead-Miami for the Championship 4. Once there, all that matters is running well and topping the other three challengers to take home the title, and Enfinger is proving capable of accomplishing the feat.

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The thoughts and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of PopularSpeed.com, its owners, management or other contributors. Any links contained in this article should not be considered an endorsement.

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Trucks

Busch Overcomes Penalty, Charges Through Field for Bristol Victory

BRISTOL, Tenn. – Not even a NASCAR overtime could stop Kyle Busch from rallying back from a speeding penalty at the end of Stage 2 to win Wednesday night’s UNOH 200 at Bristol Motor Speedway.

Busch, forced to the back of the field under penalty to start the final stage, put on a clinic on a Lap 119 restart and utilized the high line to roar through the field and find himself back in the top-10 by Lap 136.

Nearly 30 laps later, Busch found himself on the tails of leaders Johnny Sauter and Matt Crafton. Taking second from Sauter on Lap 163, Busch moved back into the lead four laps later slicing and dicing through lap traffic.

When Austin Wayne Self and Justin Haley tangled with five laps, the final restart left the field one more attempt to swipe the lead away from Busch.

The now five-time Bristol Truck Series winner, however, would have none of it pulling away from Crafton at the Lap 201 restart and cruised to his third NASCAR Camping World Truck Series win of the year and 49th of his career.

“I knew once I got that penalty that I had to go somewhere, other than where everyone else was,” said Busch. “I just started grooming the top and it took about 15 laps for it to come in and then it started going, it was pretty fast.”

“I can’t say enough about all these guys on this Banfield Pet Hospital Tundra, it was awesome. It was awesome when we unloaded. We made some fine-tune adjustments to it. She was really good all-day long.”

Looking like a superhero with his comeback, Busch, who isn’t expected to compete in anymore Camping World Truck Series races this season, said he learned enough from the penalty that could give him a potential advantage towards earning a second triple-weekend sweep at Bristol. The first came in August 2010.

“It was a lot of fun to come through the field like that, it kinda gave me some ideas about the rest of the week,” added Busch. “Probably showed a bunch of stuff too. That’s what it’s all about. This is the start of the triple, hopefully we can get it.”

While many welcomed the event’s final caution, Crafton didn’t want to see the yellow flag, as he was sure he was catching Busch as the final laps counted away.

“I searched the top, searched the bottom, and went back to the old faithful bottom,” said Crafton. “One thing I’ve done, I’ve finished second to Kyle way too many times here. All in all, it was a very good truck and we have nothing to hang our heads about.

Busch led the field to green after nearly a two-hour rain delay and dominated the first stage leading all 55 laps.

Busch led the field off pit road but was busted by NASCAR for speeding in section 4, handing the lead back to Crafton for the start of Stage 3 and the eventual comeback for Busch.

The Truck Series will take a one-week break before returning to action north of the border at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park for the running of the Silverado 250 on Sun., Sept. 3.

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Trucks

Wallace Making the Most of Limited Opportunities

It has been a rollercoaster season for Darrell Wallace Jr. as he has experienced some harsh realities while also experiencing new heights.

He reached another high on Saturday by winning the LTi Printing 200 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Michigan International Speedway.

It not only served as a reminder that Wallace Jr. is one of the most talented young competitors in the sport but showed that he is making the most of the season after a lack of funding shut down his full-time NASCAR XFINITY Series ride for Roush Fenway Racing in June.

While it was unfortunate that the team couldn’t continue to race, the opportunities that have surfaced since may ultimately help his career in ways that his time in the XFINITY Series was unable to.

Wallace Jr. made his Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series debut at Pocono in a substitute role for the injured Aric Almirola.

In four races in the legendary No. 43 for Richard Petty Motorsports, Wallace Jr. improved each week and proved capable of succeeding at the sport’s top level.

Michigan marked the 23-year-old’s first time back behind the wheel since his time in the NASCAR Cup Series, and he continued to impress.

Although a month out of a car isn’t ideal for any racer, Wallace Jr. used the time to grow his career, search for opportunities, and work on staying positive.

“Everybody goes through trials and tribulations for a reason,” Wallace Jr. said. “You have a lot more downs than ups in this sport. The ones that can carry themselves and come out on top each and every time from those downs are the ones who are going to capitalize. I’ve tried to carry a positive outlook on everything I’ve done. I’d slip up every now and again; nobody’s perfect. But when opportunities like this come in front I’ve got to make sure I’m well dressed for it.”

Not having a ride each week presented a challenge for Wallace Jr. as for the first time in his career, it wasn’t his decision to not compete.

“All I’ve done for the last 14, 15 years is drove,” Wallace Jr. said. “I’d go to the race track and drive, and we’d stop when we wanted to stop. This whole being pulled out from underneath is new.”

However, it may ultimately help Wallace Jr.’s career.

With sponsorship tougher to come by than ever before, winning is the best way to attract partners. Since moving to the XFINITY Series on a full-time basis in 2015, Wallace Jr. was unable to do so in 78 starts.

After capturing four victories in 2014 in the Truck Series and creating momentum for his next career step, not being able to deliver likely impacted his team’s ability to secure significant funding from sponsors.

Now after returning to the Truck Series for one race and winning with a new partner in Maestro’s Classic Beard Wash and Butter, it was a better showcase of Wallace Jr.’s potential than most of his XFINITY Series tenure.

While Wallace Jr. doesn’t know when he’ll race again, he has a winning performance to present to sponsors and top organizations in hopes of putting together a deal for a full-time, competitive ride to unleash his talent.

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The thoughts and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of PopularSpeed.com, its owners, management or other contributors. Any links contained in this article should not be considered an endorsement.