RICHMOND, Va. – Thursday night could have been Darrell Wallace Jr.'s coming out party.
Wallace thoroughly dominated the second half of the Blue Ox 100 at Richmond International Raceway, taking his third career NASCAR K&N Pro Series victory and inheriting the series points lead in the process. Wallace led Brett Moffitt and Corey LaJoie under the checkered flag.
"It's a great feeling. We pretty much annihilated the race," said Wallace, a Joe Gibbs Racing development driver. "I just want to thank, first of all, everybody at Revolution Racing. They worked their tails off...
"It's a brand new car. This was the very first race on it, and the first win. So that was pretty (good) for our chances. I'm just so excited."
A long red flag delay interrupted the race on Lap 29 when rain showers moved through the area. It also interrupted a battle for the lead between Wallace and polesitter Max Gresham, but Wallace got back to work almost immediately after the race resumed.
Wallace took the lead from Gresham just 15 laps after the race resumed. He later held Gresham off on a Lap 78 restart.
"I just want to thank Max Gresham for racing me clean," Wallace said. "I know I got into him off of Turn 2 there – I was a little tight. But that's racing, and we know how to race each other clean. Yeah, we're (Joe Gibbs) teammates, and that's what it's for."
Gresham dropped to fourth after both Moffitt and LaJoie passed him in the closing laps.
The race went green from the start until the rains came. From there, it wasn't slowed again until Ryan Gifford spun alone on Lap 72 – setting up the final restart of the night.
Gresham tried to battle Wallace on the outside, but after just a couple of circuits Wallace pulled away on the backstretch.
"I could see that he was snapping loose off of Turn 2, and I was able to cut the turn really good and get under him," Wallace said.
Unofficially, Wallace took the lead from fellow Revolution Racing driver Sergio Pena. Pena finished ninth in the 38-car field.
The victory was Wallace's first since he won at Lee USA Speedway last July, and it was his first on a track larger than .333-miles in length. In fact, Wallace wasn't done impressing people gathered for a Sprint Cup Series weekend.
He ran as high as fourth in the Denny Hamlin Foundation Short Track Showdown following the K&N Pro Series East race before being collected in an accident just seven laps from the finish. The car that swerved into him during the chaos, ironically enough, was Gresham's.