It wasn’t that long ago that an up-and-coming driver named Martin Truex, Jr. was becoming dominant at Dover International Speedway in NASCAR’s various developmental series. There were poles, wins and impressive performances that all were part of his growth as a driver, and his eventual NASCAR Sprint Cup Series career that has him in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup for the first time this year.
That may be happening again with another Junior – Darrell Wallace, Jr., who earned the pole for Saturday’s “OneMain Financial 200” NASCAR Nationwide Series race at the Monster Mile. Wallace circled the track in 23.091 seconds for an average speed of 155.905 mph, nearly a full mile per hour faster than Justin Allgaier and the third-fastest qualifying lap in the NASCAR Nationwide Series at Dover in the last seven years.
Perhaps more notable is that Wallace appears to be extending his success at Dover into another series. His pole is the third in a row for him personally in races at Dover. He earned the pole in each of his last two races here – both the Sept. 28 “American Real TV 150” NASCAR K&N Pro Series East race and last fall’s race in the same series. He finished second on Friday and won it a year ago.
Wallace won his first Nationwide pole in only his fourth race on the circuit, and became the youngest pole winner ever for a NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Dover.
The other story to watch in Saturday’s race involves the points leaders, many of whom turned in strong qualifying efforts. Points leader Elliott Sadler qualified fourth, two places ahead of Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., who starts the race just four points back in the standings. Austin Dillon, who’s third in the standings, qualified ninth after running the fastest lap in Friday’s practice session. Allgaier will start from the second spot and try to whittle down his 103-point deficit, which has him placed fifth.
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series doubleheader drivers Joey Logano, Kasey Kahne and Kyle Busch qualified third, fifth and seventh, respectively. Paul Menard rounded out the top-10, while Ryan Truex, the springtime NASCAR Nationwide Series pole winner, qualified 11th. Danica Patrick will start 25th.