This weekend at Martinsville Speedway, Kyle Busch Motorsports driver Darrell Wallace Jr. pays tribute to one of the 2015 inductees into the NASCAR Hall of Fame, Wendell Scott. Scott was the first African American driver to visit victory lane in one of NASCAR’s top series back in 1963; Wallace Jr. became the second last October at Martinsville.
To honor Scott, the No. 54 Toyota Tundra becomes the No. 34, and the paint scheme will be the light blue and white – both signatures of Scott’s career. In the Sprint Cup Series, Front Row Motorsports and driver David Ragan will be running a similar scheme on the team’s No. 34.
“I’m really excited to run the No. 34 Toyota Tundra this weekend at Martinsville to honor Wendell Scott’s Hall of Fame induction, as well as honor the entire Scott family,” said Wallace Jr. on the KBM website. “Martinsville is a track I have run well on and will always be special to me since I got my first win there last year. Anytime you mention Martinsville, I get excited. Jerry (Baxter, crew chief) and the guys have worked really hard to give me the best Toyota Tundra, and I know if we unload with the same speed we have the last few races, we will be just fine. It’s time to get us another win and another Grandfather clock.”
Wallace has three top five finishes – including the win – in three starts at Martinsville; he finished second to Matt Crafton in March of this year.
Erik Jones gets back behind the wheel of the No. 51 ToyotaCare Tundra, and is hoping for better luck than he had in his first two visits to the 0.526-mile track known as “the Paperclip.” After becoming the first 16-year-old to compete in the Truck Series since his team owner, Kyle Busch, back in October 2001, Jones ran as high as fourth in April 2013 at Martinsville, only to lose spots in a late-race on-track altercation and finish ninth. In March of this year, Jones was turned during a green-white-checkered restart, turning another possible top five finish into an 18th-place run.
“Martinsville is a tough place for both a driver and a team to be successful, because you need circumstances to go your way at the end,” said Jones. “We’ve had a fast Tundra the first two times and were in a position for a top five, unfortunately we got moved out of the way once and wrecked once. Hopefully, this time around we can keep everything together, circumstances can go our way and this No. 51 ToyotaCare team will be there fighting for the win at the end. KBM has a little win streak going there in the October race, so hopefully we can keep that going and either Darrell or myself can bring home the grandfather clock on Saturday.”
Jones has two wins in 10 Camping World Truck Series starts this season.
Qualifying for the Kroger 200 at Martinsville Speedway takes place Saturday morning at 10:15 a.m. ET, followed by the green flag at 1:30 p.m. ET. Keep up with the action at www.kylebuschmotorsports.com.
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