Bubba Wallace pays homage to NASCAR Hall of Famer Wendell Scott with encore win at Martinsville

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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.

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Kyle Larson wins third consecutive High Limit Sprint race at Eagle Raceway, Rico Abreu second again

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It took four attempts for Kyle Larson to win his first High Limit Sprint Car Series race in the series he co-owns with brother-in-law Brad Sweet, but once he found victory lane, he has been undefeated with his win at Eagle (Nebraska) Raceway. For the second week, Abreu led early only to fall prey to Larson.

The win was Larson’s third straight victory and the fifth consecutive top-five, giving him a perfect sweep of the season after finishing 10th in last year’s inaugural race at Lincoln Park Speedway in Putnamville, Indiana.

Larson started third behind Abreu and Brent Marks but was embroiled in a fierce battle with Anthony Macri for third during the first dozen laps. Larson slipped by Macri in traffic until a red flag waved for a flip by Lachlan McHugh.

Meanwhile at the front of the pack, Marks retook the lead from Abreu on Lap 18. Larson followed one lap later and then caution waved again. Tyler Courtney lost power and fell to 24th after starting eighth.

Marks scooted away on the restart but tragedy struck in Lap 26. Leading the race, Marks hit a pothole in Turn 1, bicycled and then flipped, handing the lead to Larson.

Abreu caught Larson again during the final laps and in a reprise of their battle at Tri-City Speedway, the two threw sliders at one another for several laps until Larson built some separation and ran away to the checkers.

“I didn’t feel like my pace in [Turns] 1 & 2 slowed down a ton,” Larson said from victory lane. “I missed it once there and then I saw his nose in 3 & 4. I didn’t know if he nailed the bottom that well behind me and I think he might have slid me in the next corner, so he was definitely on the top.

“I was nervous to move up there because my car was really pogoing up in the entry of 1. I got up just in time, made a few mistakes and he threw a couple more sliders at me but he was just a little too far back and I was able to squirt around him. Then I really had to commit to hitting my marks – back my effort down a bit to avoid mistakes.”

After leading early, Abreu fell back as far as sixth, but faith in his car kept hope alive.

“I just needed to do a few things a few laps before I did and fix some angles, then my car got a whole lot better,” Abreu said. “I’m thankful for this team; they do an amazing job. They don’t give up on me. I know my car is going to be there right at the end of these races, so it’s just the discipline of being patient.”

For Abreu, it was his third near-miss this season. He was leading at Lakeside in the 2023 opener until a tire went flat in the closing laps and he lost the lead to Larson late in the Tri-City Speedway race. Abreu has finished sixth or better in his last three High Limit races with each result being progressively better until his pair of runner-up results.

Third-place finisher Scelzi was the hard charger, advancing from 17th.

“I had a very specific plan; don’t go near [the hole in Turn 1],” Scelzi said. “It worked out. No one wanted to start on the top. I think I gained a couple of rows there on the choose cone and ran the middle, which seemed to be better than right around the bottom.”

Michael “Buddy” Kofoid in fourth and Macri rounded out the top five.

World of Outlaws star and former NASCAR driver Kasey Kahne was one of 41 entrants, but he was not among the 26 starters. He failed to advance to the Main after finishing eighth in the B Main and seventh in his heat.

Feature Results

A Feature (40 Laps): 1. 57-Kyle Larson[4]; 2. 24-Rico Abreu[1]; 3. 18-Giovanni Scelzi[17]; 4. 71-Michael Kofoid[5]; 5. 39M-Anthony Macri[3]; 6. 9-Chase Randall[9]; 7. 26-Zeb Wise[14]; 8. 1X-Jake Bubak[15]; 9. 8-Aaron Reutzel[10]; 10. 14D-Corey Day[18]; 11. 11-Cory Eliason[12]; 12. 5T-Ryan Timms[11]; 13. 88-Austin McCarl[13]; 14. 21H-Brady Bacon[22]; 15. 48-Danny Dietrich[16]; 16. 7S-Robbie Price[19]; 17. 21-Brian Brown[23]; 18. 22-Riley Goodno[26]; 19. 52-Blake Hahn[25]; 20. 15H-Sam Hafertepe Jr[21]; 21. 3J-Dusty Zomer[6]; 22. 14-Cole Macedo[7]; 23. 19-Brent Marks[2]; 24. 7BC-Tyler Courtney[8]; 25. 25-Lachlan McHugh[20]; 26. 53-Jack Dover[24]

2023 High Limit Sprint Car Series

Race 1: Giovanni Scelzi wins at Lakeside Speedway
Race2: Anthony Macri wins at 34 Raceway
Race 3: Kyle Larson wins at Wayne County Speedway
Race 4: Kyle Larson wins at Tri-City Speedway