Michigan International Speedway August 12, 2017, 1:00 pm
The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series LTi Printing 200 put on a show for the fans Saturday afternoon. Before a nice crowd at Michigan International Speedway the trucks ran the 100-lap/200-mile race under partly cloudy skies and comfortable temperatures.
The Pure Michigan 400 is tomorrow at MIS. But, the weather was “Pure Michigan” for the fans that made the trip to the Irish Hills today. For 60 laps it looked like, Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series regular, Kyle Busch(51) would dominate the field. Bush won the 30-lap first stage in easy fashion. The second stage, same result.
Battling for the Win
The final stage proved to be a different story. On the restart to begin the final 40-lap segment the trucks jockeyed for position just past the starter stand. Bubba Wallace Jr.(99), making a three-wide move bumped Cody Coughlin(13) who spun and slammed the wall at the end of pit road.
Kyle Busch, already a four-time winner in the 2017 NASCAR Camping World Series, sustained minor damage in the incident and had to pit loosing track position. With Busch coming from the rear, the battle for the lead was wide open.
Wallace was penalized for having a pit crew member over the wall too soon during a caution flag pit stop on lap 53. However, he fought his way back to the front to become a factor. Escaping the bump with Coughlin without serious damage, Wallace was in the mix at the finish. The number 99 truck took the race lead on lap 90.
As Wallace led, Busch moved into fourth. Kyle climbed into third on lap 96. Racing to the white flag Christopher Bell(4), was side by side with Wallace and Busch was lurking just behind the pair. Into turn one on the final lap Wallace surged ahead and held on for the win. Bell took second and Busch third.
Wallace’s Plans for 2018
After Wallace earned the win, Phil Parsons in the television booth commented, “this is why that young man deserves a ride in the Cup Series.” Having proved himself worthy of such an opportunity while subbing for the injured Aric Almirola in Richard Petty’s number 43 Ford; we asked Darrell if he was discussing such a possibility for 2018.
According to Wallace, “we have kept close relationships with the 43 team…. We have been in talks with a lot of people about what I can do and what is next for Bubba Wallace.”
The NASCAR “Silly Season” is in full swing. We will be watching Darrell Wallace Jr. closely to see where he lands in 2018.