Darrell Wallace, Jr. will make his Joe Gibbs Racing debut this weekend in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East Race at Bristol Motor Speedway on Saturday evening.
Wallace, 18, signed with Joe Gibbs Racing’s Diversity and Developmental program when he was just 16 years old. In addition to running for a championship in the K&N Pro Series this season, he is expected to make his Nationwide Series debut on May 20 in Iowa.
Wallace spent last season driving for Revolution Racing in the K&N Pro Series, and narrowly missed out on a championship when he finished just behind JGR’s Max Gresham. He put together a strong season nonetheless, with three wins, five top-fives and 11 top-ten finishes in the 12 Series races. But Wallace will now have his opportunity in JGR’s No. 18 Camry with championship crew chief Bryant Frazier on top of the pit box.
“I can’t wait for Saturday night,” said Wallace, Jr. “I can’t wait to get into Joe Gibbs Racing equipment and have the opportunity to work with Bryant and the JGR team. It’s great having Coke and Toyota on board as well as they have been supportive of me from the beginning.”
In 2010, Wallace captured K&N Pro Series East Rookie of the Year honors while driving for Revolution Racing. His statistics were certainly impressive, as he earned two wins, five top-fives, and seven top-tens in the short 10-race season and finished third in points.
Wallace also made history when in the first race of the 2010 season he became the NASCAR K&N Pro Series’ youngest and first African American to win a race at Greenville-Pickens Speedway. His second win of the season would come a bit later in the season at Lee USA Speedway in New Hampshire.
Garnering Rookie of the Year honors in a Series is nothing new for Wallace, who was named the 2008 Rookie of the Year in the United Auto Racing Association. He finished sixth overall in the point standings that year and became the youngest driver to ever win a race at Franklin County Speedway, his first victory in Late Models. He would return to racing Late Models in 2009 and went on to win three races and earn 11 top-five finishes in 23 Late Model races, nine of which were part of the UARA season.