Darrell “Bubba” Wallace Jr. wanted to honor NASCAR Hall of Famer-elect Wendell Scott in every way he could in Saturday’s Kroger 200 Camping World Truck Series at Martinsville Speedway.
It began with Wallace driving a race truck that carried the powder blue and white paint scheme, as well as the number 34 that Scott also used much of his career.
And to cap off the perfect weekend, Wallace grabbed the lead with 13 laps remaining and held on the rest of the way for the win.
“Got us another one, yeah baby,” Wallace said on his team radio after taking the checkered flag and referring to the grandfather clock he won for his efforts. “Tick Tock.”
It was Wallace’s second triumph at Martinsville – he earned his first career win there in this race last year – as well as his third win this season and fourth overall in his career.
“I wasn’t worrying about anybody, honestly,” Wallace told Fox Sports1. “I said, I don’t care, it’s our weekend, we’re going to come out and take this clock home with us.
“It was so fun. Martinsville is one of my favorite places to go to. It’s a special moment, 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 into victory lane.
“I know (Wendell) just said ‘Hell, yeah’ up there (in heaven), so this is as cool as hell.”
When asked what the repeat win at the half-mile bull ring means, crew chief Jerry Baxter put it into perfect context.
“I guess it means we’re for real,” Baxter said. “That’s the third win this year, that’s fantastic.
“It was a big weekend with the 34, Hall of Fame, Wendell Scott deal and another grandfather clock. … I’m just so proud of this team and so proud of Bubba. It’s a good deal.”
Timothy Peters finished second, followed by Matt Crafton, Erik Jones, Ryan Blaney, Tyler Reddick, Johnny Sauter, Matt Tifft, Alex Guennette and German Quiroga.
Finishing 11th through 20th were Caleb Holman, Jeb Burton, John Hunter Nemechek, Gray Gaulding, Mason Mingus, Ben Kennedy, Peyton Sellers, Brennan Newberry, Tyler Young and Enrique Contreras III.
After the race on pit road, there was a slight scuffle between Peters and Johnny Sauter, who got together in the closing laps. But both drivers were separated and tempers cooled quickly.
“It’s just Martinsville, you know what I mean,” Peters said.
Matt Crafton retained his lead in the NCWTS points, but it tightened slightly, with Ryan Blaney in second, 18 points back, and Wallace just 22 points back, in third.
“I know we had a truck capable of winning the race … but we just lost track position,” Crafton said. “If it’s meant to be (a championship), it’ll be. If not, we’ll try to go on and get it next year.”
There was one major incident in the race. With 50 laps remaining in the scheduled 200-lap event, Tyler Reddick got into the rear of John Wes Townley, sending the latter first into the inside retaining wall, and then crossed back to slam head-on into the outside retaining wall.
Townley collected Brandon Jones in the process, with the trucks of both drivers suffering heavy damage that ended their respective day.
Follow me @JerryBonkowski