Darrell “Bubba” Wallace Jr. made a move to go three-wide with 11 laps remaining and then held off all challengers to win the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series LTi Printing 200 at Michigan International Speedway.
It was not an easy victory for Wallace as Austin Cindric, Christopher Bell and Kyle Busch all made moves for the lead but was it Wallace who held on for the victory. On the race winning move, Wallace went under race leader Cindric with only 11 laps left. On the top side, Bell went high to make it three wide. At the end of the maneuvering between the three, it is was Wallace with the lead.
After the race Wallace could not contain his emotion for what this meant for him and his team.
“Such a huge moment, not only for myself, but for everybody involved,” Wallace said. “This is such a huge win for me. It is good to be back in the truck series. This is a product of having the truck series come to Michigan and put on a great race. I knew those laps were going to be hectic.”
Wallace raced looking out his mirrors more than his windshield those closing laps. Then with two laps left, Bell made one final attempt to get past Wallace on the bottom. Bell made the pass, but could not clear Wallace who fought back on the high side to re-take the lead. From there it was all Wallace as Bell could not get past him.
It was an impressive win for Wallace considering this was his first race in the truck series in 2017. He even overcame a pit road penalty on lap 53 for crewmembers over the wall too soon.
Matt Crafton won the pole for the race with a fast lap 184.256 mph. Johnny Sauter started on the front row alongside Crafton.
The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series held two practice sessions on Saturday in preparation for the Pure Michigan 400. Two-time Michigan winner Kyle Larson led the day’s opening practice session with a speed of 202.532 mph. Michigan native and pole sitter for the Pure Michigan 400, Brad Keselowski was second-fastest speed of 202.332 mph.
In the final practice session it was Keselowski at the top of the board with a speed of 200.865 mph. It was Martin Truex Jr. in second and Joey Logano in third. Erik Jones had the seventh-fast time in the first session of the day and the 12th-quickest time in the final practice of the day.
The Pure Michigan 400 starts at 3 p.m. on Sunday. Keselowski will lead the field to the green flag after winning the pole award. Tickets remain for the race.