Kyle Busch Motorsports driver Darrell Wallace Jr. earned the rookie of the race award in Sunday’s Fan Appreciation Iowa 200 at Iowa Speedway with his fifth-place finish. Wallace Jr. started 10th in the No. 54 ToyotaCare Toyota Tundra and spent most of the 200-plus-lap Camping World Truck Series event in the top 10. This was the second straight race that Wallace Jr. was the rookie of the race.
“A top-five finish is what we needed,” said Wallace Jr. on the KBM website. “It was a good point’s day and hopefully we gained some points on the guys in front of us. The guys worked really hard this weekend and we were fast from the start. It was a fun weekend. I have to thank Toyota and Kyle and Samantha (Busch) for giving me this opportunity.”
17-year-old Erik Jones, making his fourth start for KBM this season, earned his fourth-consecutive top 10 finish with a ninth-place run at Iowa. Jones started from the outside pole in the No. 51 ToyotaCare Tundra and battled an ill-handling truck throughout the race, but salvaged the top 10 finish with the help of his crew.
"We just missed it in the race," said Jones. "I was really confident after how strong the truck was on Saturday during practice and qualifying, but after the first few laps of the race, I knew I was going to have a long day. Rudy (Fugle, crew chief) did everything he could for me today. You'll have days like today and I'm thankful we were able to keep the top-10 streak going. We have one more shot in November at Phoenix. I've never been there but I've heard a lot about it and I'm really anxious to get back in this Toyota Tundra for KBM."
Joey Coulter qualified 17th in the No. 18 Darrell Gwynn Foundation Tundra and was on the verge of a top 10 finish when bad luck struck in the final laps of the race. An accident with Brendan Gaughan during the first green-white-checkered restart sent him into the Turn 2 wall, ending his day with a 25th-place finish, Coulter’s first DNF of the season.
"I guess today wasn't our day," said Coulter. "We didn't have a good qualifying effort because the truck was just too loose on entry and then we struggled with the same thing at the start of the race. I just couldn't make my Tundra stick in the corners like everyone else and we dropped like a rocket. The guys worked hard - didn't give up - and we ended up getting our lap back. On that first green-white-checkered restart we were in line for a solid top-10 finish, but the 62 got into me in Turn 2 and that ended our day early. It's disheartening - to have that kind of day and to come back from it and then have this happen just really show's what kind of year we have had. Our day is coming and we will regroup and I look forward to a solid run in Chicago next week."
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