Prior to this weekend, Darrell Wallace Jr. had never been in a Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series car before. Furthermore, his first Cup start would come on a track where it’s dubbed the “Tricky Triangle.” Even further, he has just two total practice sessions to get his No. 43 Ford to his liking before racing on Sunday afternoon at the 2.5-mile Pennsylvania track.
To take it even another step farther, he has to do all of this without a teammate.
So far though, it’s going to plan.
Wallace, was 19th quickest in the lone practice session of the day on Friday morning, with a top speed of 174.135 mph in his Richard Petty Motorsports entry. Then, he backed that up with qualifying for Sunday’s Axalta presents the Pocono 400 (3 p.m. ET/FS1/MRN) on the Outside of Row 8 in 16th.
Pretty good weekend so far for a guy with so much going against him.
Wallace, is filling in for injured Aric Almirola who was hurt in a crash last month at the Kansas Speedway. Regan Smith subbed at Charlotte and again at Dover, but the team has since decided to use Wallace until Almirola can return.
Doctors said the timetable for Almirola’s return was 8-12 weeks. We’re in week four.