RIDGEWAY, VA :: Former Franklin County Speedway and UARA-STARS competitor Darrell “Bubba” Wallace, Jr. recaptured the lead late and scored the victory in Saturday’s Kroger 200 at Martinsville Speedway.

Wallace was driving a no. 34 car with a throwback Wendell Scott paint scheme as a tribute to the Danville, Virginia native who will be inducted in to the NASCAR Hall of Fame in January.  Scott was the first African-American driver to score a victory in NASCAR competition when he won a race in Jacksonville, Florida back in 1963.  Wallace, who is a graduate of the NASCAR Drive for Diversity, became the second African-American to win a race in NASCAR’s major leagues when he won last year’s Kroger 200.

“That was so fun,” Wallace said.  “Martinsville is my favorite place to come to.  Without the support of NASCAR and Toyota… the whole Wendell Scott family is here and this is a special moment, just a perfect weekend for us.  It’s a true honor to have Wendell Scott on our Toyota Tundra and to be able to put it in Victory Lane.  I know he (Scott) just said up there, ‘Hell yeah.’  This is cool.”

Wallace had lost the lead in the closing stages of the race but was able to recapture the lead from Johnny Sauter on lap 188.  Immediately as he took the lead, German Quiroga made a bold move, taking the leaders four-wide as they negotiated lapped traffic before lopping around to bring out the caution.  Wallace survived the challenge from Sauter and eventual second-place finisher Timothy Peters to score the victory – his fourth career win in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.

“I wasn’t worried about anybody, honestly,” Wallace said about the late race restart. “They kept telling me where everybody was, and I said I didn’t care.  It’s our weekend and we’re going to come out and take this (grandfather) clock (trophy) home with us and we just did that.”

Winning at Martinsville always means a lot to Wallace.  He cut his teeth at the 3/8-mile Franklin County Speedway bullring in nearby Callaway, Virginia and also ran some in the UARA-STARS tour.  Wallace has scored Late Model victories at Caraway Speedway in Sophia, North Carolina and at Franklin County Speedway.  In his time in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, he has become a standout driver on the short tracks, scoring two of his four wins to date at Martinsville Speedway and scoring another at the half-mile Eldora Speedway dirt track in Rossburg, Ohio.

Wallace said this win was even more special than last year’s win at Martinsville Speedway which was his first career NASCAR victory.

“It means a lot — I know I had a guardian angel looking over me this weekend,” Wallace remarked.  “To be able to put it in Victory Lane, you couldn’t ask for a better weekend.  You thought last year was special, but this definitely beats it”

Timothy Peters, a former track champion at Orange County Speedway (2002 and 2003) and South Boston Speedway (2004), used a little muscle late in the race to get around Johnny Sauter to finish second.

“It’s Martinsville,” Peters stated. “If you’re going to dish it out, you’re going to need to be able to take it. Did I mean to run into him?  Yeah.  I’m not going to deny that — maybe not as hard.   But it is what it is.  I don’t want to waste too much of my breath on that.  We’ll just focus on how well we ran today.”

Former Ace Speedway and South Boston Speedway competitor Jeb Burton finished in 12th, Peyton Sellers, fresh off his second South Boston Speedway track championship, finished in 17th and Brandon Brown, a former winner at the now-defunct Old Dominion Speedway, finished in 24th.

With his victory, Wallace now moves to third in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series championship standings, 22 points behind series points leader Matt Crafton.  However, Wallace’s strategy remains the same.  During a postrace press conference, Wallace and team owner Kyle Busch said his main mission was to win more races.