Wednesday night’s MudSummer Classic at Eldora Speedway was truly checkers or wreckers.
Darrell Wallace Jr. took the checkered flag for his second NASCAR Truck Series victory of the season and Kyle Larson wrecked out of the race trying to battle Wallace for the lead with two of 150 laps remaining.
By end of race, Larson’s No. 30 Chevrolet was a mangled mess but his charge to the front was one of the highlights of only NASCAR national series race run on dirt each season.
“That’s so cool – on the dirt at Eldora,” Wallace said from Victory Lane. “Really? Eldora?
“The coolest things about it is I came into this hoping we’d finish in the top-five. I was worried about the Toyota streak, not to lie.”
Toyota drivers have now won all 10 Truck races this season and a NASCAR record 12 straight overall.
Ron Hornaday finished second, Ryan Blaney was third and took over the series points lead, Ken Schrader was fourth and Ty Dillon ended up fifth. Blaney holds a four-point lead over Matt Crafton.
Wallace started sixth and took the lead for the first time on Lap 49 in front of the capacity crowd. The only time he lost the lead after that was while battling Larson before a caution on Lap 129.
On the restart on Lap 133, Wallace quickly bolted back out front, leaving Larson trying desperately to gain traction and make up ground on the slick surface.
“I have to thank Turner Scott Motorsports for building a strong truck that lasted that long,” Larson said. “That’s how stupid was I was driving.
“Darrell did a really good job. He was fast all day today and he ran close to the wall the whole time and didn’t really hit it. After that final restart, I kept getting sucked into the fence.
“It was frustrating.”
Blaney said he couldn’t believe the moves Larson was making in an effort to catch the leader.
“I saw Kyle when he got to second go in there and just destroy the wall and keep going forward,” he said. “I’m surprised he lasted that long before he broke. I knew he was going to break something, he was doing it so hard.
“I’m sure it was fun for the fans to watch but I wasn’t going to do that and have the same problem he did. We’re racing for the bigger picture.”