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Black driver Darrell Wallace Jr. may race full time in NASCAR series

February 08, 2013|By Jim Peltz
  • Darrell Wallace Jr. is expected to race in the NASCAR truck series this year, which would make him one of only a few African American drivers to have raced full time in one of NASCAR's national series.
Darrell Wallace Jr. is expected to race in the NASCAR truck series this year,… (The Official NASCAR / YouTube )

Darrell Wallace Jr. is expected to race in NASCAR's truck series this year, which would make the 19-year-old one of only a handful of African American drivers to have raced full time in one of NASCAR's three national series.

Wallace is in the developmental-driver program at Joe Gibbs Racing, which has scheduled a news conference Saturday in Charlotte, N.C., where Wallace's ride is expected to be announced, according to a source familiar with the move but not authorized to discuss it publicly.

NASCAR President Mike Helton was scheduled to join Wallace and Gibbs officials for the event. The Gibbs team declined to comment Friday.

NASCAR's premier stock-car racing circuit is the Sprint Cup Series, followed by the Nationwide Series and the Camping World Truck Series, in which Wallace, a native of Mobile, Ala., now residing in Concord, N.C., would compete.

Wallace is expected to drive a truck prepared by the team of Kyle Busch Motorsports; Busch himself races in the Sprint Cup Series for Gibbs' team.

Wallace was a six-time winner in one of NASCAR's minor-league series, the K&N Pro Series East, and last year he drove in four Nationwide races and finished in the top 10 in three of them.

Other black drivers who have raced full time in NASCAR include Wendell Scott, Willy T. Ribbs and Bill Lester.

Scott was the only one to win a race in one of the three national series; he won an event in 1963 in what is now the Cup series.

Ribbs competed full-time in the truck series in 2001. Lester also raced full time in the truck series from 2002 through 2006 and made two starts in the Cup series in 2006.

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