Darrell Wallace, Jr. disappointed after “heartbreak day”

Matthew T. Thacker/NKP

By Aaron Bearden, Motorsports Editor

The ending of the upcoming “Cars 3” may not be known yet, but if it’s anything like Pixar’s brief foray into NASCAR with Darrell Wallace, Jr., went on Saturday, then fans may want to bring some tissues into the movie theater.

In what was one of his final confirmed races with Ford and Roush Fenway Racing (RFR), Wallace earned a victory in Stage 2 only to be left disappointed with an eighth-place run in the Bar Harbor 200 at Dover International Speedway.

Wallace, 23, is still searching for funding to continue on with the NASCAR XFINITY Series when the tour travels to Michigan International Speedway in two weeks.

That funding nearly came in the form of the Dash 4 Cash. By virtue of his win in the second stage, Wallace was one of the three XFINITY series regulars to qualify for the $100,000 bonus awarded at the end of the race. But the Mobile, Alabama native fell just short of the prize. JR Motorsports’ William Byron claimed the money with a sixth-place result.

“Heartbreak day,” Wallace said. “We have one more race left and this one was the one we were going to win, for sure. It just didn’t happen. We can’t get any luck. I got a little sideways on that one restart and it cost us a little bit. It was a good day for our Cars 3 Mustang team. It was ours. It would have been nice to get the $100,000 and bought us our Michigan race that we don’t have.”

In the end, a dejected Wallace chalked his disappointing result up to a difficult uphill battle over the race’s final stage with poor track position.

“Caution…when you get lot at the beginning… you usually don’t see many at the end,” Wallace said. “That’s what happened. We just couldn’t get back up there. I don’t know where we ended up, but not a win.”

2017 has proven to be Wallace’s best season to date in the XFINITY series. Coming off of a 2016 campaign that proved underwhelming for all of RFR, Wallace has driven to seven top 10s in the year’s first 11 races to place himself fourth in the championship standings. Wallace currently leads the way for Ford, 21 points ahead of teammate Ryan Reed.

However, if he can’t come up with support quickly, it may all be for naught.

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