Two-Time Winner Wallace Headed To Showdown
K&N Pro Series East Rookie Of The Year To Participate In NASCAR's Short-Track Showcase
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Dec. 29, 2010) - The first race winner of the 2010 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East campaign is also one of the first to commit to the postseason NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown as Revolution Racing's Darrell Wallace Jr. will head to Southern California in January.
Wallace, from Mobile, Ala., won in his K&N Pro Series East debut at Greenville (S.C.) Pickens Speedway to secure a guaranteed starting position in NASCAR's premier short-track event, which will be held on Jan. 28-29 at Toyota Speedway at Irwindale (Calif.).
"I'm really excited," Wallace said of participating in the Showdown. "Last year I had to sit up in the stands and watch my teammate Sergio [Pena] go out there and pretty much dominate, going at it with Joey Logano. So now, being able to be a part of it is going to be pretty cool."
In addition to the triumph in his K&N Pro Series East debut, which made him the youngest race winner and first African-American victor in series history, Wallace also took the checkered flag at Lee (USA) Speedway in 2010. Wallace, who turned 17 years old following the season, registered seven top 10s in 10 races in the Revolution Racing No. 6 and finished third in the championship standings. The performance earned him Sunoco Rookie of the Year honors.
"I believe it went extremely well," Wallace said of his first season. "It blew all of our minds with the first win. We expected a top-five or top-10 finish, but definitely not the win. Being able to pick up the second win at Lee was pretty awesome.
"I wish we could have come up with some more [wins], but that's alright. We came up a little short in the championship run, but I was able to hang on for the Rookie of the Year title, so that's pretty cool."
In Irwindale, Wallace will look to become just the second driver to win the NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown following his rookie season. The defending NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown winner Logano, who like Wallace competed in the K&N Pro Series East as a development driver for Joe Gibbs Racing, previously took the checkers as a rookie in 2007.
A year ago Wallace competed in a run-off at Toyota Speedway with his three Revolution Racing teammates in spec race cars similar to a Late Model for a chance to qualify for the NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown. Pena earned the spot, but it did provide Wallace with some practical experience on the half mile track, something he would not have otherwise.
"At least I won't be going to the track cold, I do have some laps under my belt," Wallace said. "I'll be somewhat ready, but those cars were totally different from the East cars. It will kind of take me a little bit to get used to it, but it shouldn't be too bad."
In addition to the secured starting spots for race winners of the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East and West from the 2010 season, the NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown also provides secured spots for the 2010 champions of NASCAR's developmental series. The 225-lap main event is broken up into three sections - two 100-lap segments preceding a 25-lap dash to the finish.
The schedule also includes a 75-lap NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Super Late Model race and a 50-lap NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Late Model race. The top five NASCAR state champions in attendance will have secured starting spots in the Late Model race. New to this year, the 25-car fields for each of those races will be set by a pair of heat races - 25 laps for the Super Late Models and 20 laps for the Late Models.
Both nights of racing will air live on SPEED.