1. Darrell Wallace Jr. – The last time Wallace Jr. made a Truck Series start was over three years ago at the season finale in Homestead. But that didn’t show from Wallace Jr. as he picked up right where he left off. He had a solid qualifying position of ninth and finished there in Stage 1. He fell out of the top 10 in Stage 2 and didn’t take the lead until Lap 90 where he held the lead for the final 10 laps to score his sixth career truck win.
“Such a huge moment, not only for myself but for everybody involved,” Wallace said. “This is such a huge win for me. It is good to be back in the truck series. This is a product of having the truck series come to Michigan and put on a great race. I knew those laps were going to be hectic.”
2. Christopher Bell – Bell continues his strong championship season as he earned his ninth top five of the year and increased his points lead to 37. Bell finished 10th in Stage 1 and third in Stage 2. He didn’t lead any laps, but the only thing that mattered was increasing his points lead.
“I don’t know, I hope the fans enjoyed that one because it was a ton of fun,” Bell said after the race. “Our SiriusXM/JBL Tundra was handling really good, we just didn’t seem to have the raw speed to get up there and get by them. That was a lot of fun. I wish I would have been able to work that inside pass like I did the time before. I didn’t quite get there. That’s awesome for Bubba (Darrell Wallace Jr.), to see him come back and win like that – that was a really fun race.”
3. Austin Cindric – Cindric had another solid points day by finishing in the top five, even though he didn’t finish in the top 10 at all during both stages. He also led for 24 laps. Cindric needs to continue these solid runs or get a win before the playoffs start as he sits right on the bubble at 10th in the standings.
“It was a really good call by Doug to get us out front,” Cindric said. “Clean air is king at Michigan, and we knew we had a good Draw-Tite Ford F-150 all by ourselves. I had to make a move on the No. 99 (Wallace) there at some point, and we knew we were really good in Turns 1 and 2. I got the side draft on the backstretch and had the momentum. I made the pass stick but didn’t have any help. That was so close. Maybe I should have saved that move for the last lap. We’ll take another top five and keep moving.”
4. Matt Crafton – Crafton finished a respectable sixth at Michigan Saturday afternoon. After leading the first 10 laps of the race, he finished third in Stage 1 and fourth in Stage 2. He was up front battling for the win late but came up six spots short. It was still another solid day for the two-time series champion.
“We had a good truck,” Crafton said. “When Bubba (Darrell Wallace Jr.) passed for the lead, we went to the bottom, and I didn’t get myself cleared, and if you didn’t get cleared of whoever you were racing against, then you were just screwed. It was just tough to pass. I definitely had a faster truck than those guys, but if I could get under them, then I could never get clear because there was nobody behind me to help me and keep pushing me. We got out of here with a sixth-place finish.”
Crafton leaves Michigan sitting third in the points, 62 behind Christopher Bell.
5. Noah Gragson – Gragson had a quiet but strong day at Michigan. He finished seventh in Stage 1 and eighth in Stage 2. By the time the checkered flew, the scoring pylon showed Gragson finished 10th. However, he wanted a little bit more than a top 10 finish.
“We fought hard for a top-10 finish, but I wish I could have done better,” Gragson said. “It’s difficult learning the draft and the aero at a track like this. It’s like a chess game out there since everyone is running wide open. I felt like we had a good strategy all day but just needed to execute better on my end. We’ll move on and give it another shot at Bristol on Wednesday.”
Other notes – This was the sixth career win for Darrell Wallace Jr. in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. Wallace Jr. led one time for the final 10 laps of the race. Christopher Bell now extends his points lead over Johnny Sauter by 37.
Next Up – The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series heads to Bristol Motor Speedway for another mid-week event. It’ll be the 14th race of the 2017 season and with just three races remaining until the playoffs drivers will only have three more chances to lock themselves into the playoffs with a win.