Wallace Jr. on possibility of winning in MENCS debut: ‘Anything is possible’
By Dominic Aragon
June 9, 2017
LONG POND, Pa.—A victory in the Axalta Presents the Pocono 400 for Darrell Wallace Jr. Sunday at Pocono Raceway would make history in NASCAR’s premiere series.
Wallace Jr. will be the fifth driver in 2017 to make his debut in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, filling in for Aric Almirola in the No. 43 Ford for Richard Petty Motorsports.
A win in Wallace Jr.'s debut would make him the seventh driver in history to accomplish the feat and the first driver in over 54 years.
“That’s a big task, but hey, anything is possible if you put your mind to it,” Wallace Jr. said. “I believe that we can win each and every weekend, so, if the opportunity presents itself, then we’ve got to be able to capitalize on it and manage what we have in front of us.
“But, that would be cool. I don’t know much more I can say on that. I’d love to win a race. It’s been a little bit, but it’d be special. It’d be a huge historical impact like you say, but let’s just get through practice and qualifying and make sure we can keep all four tires on it right now.”
According to research across two racing databases, a debut winner occurred five times across NASCAR's first three seasons; twice in 1949 and 1950, and once in 1951.
The last driver to record a victory in their debut was Johnny Rutherford in February of 1963, winning in a Daytona 500 qualifier race.
The four drivers who made their MENCS debuts in 2017 were Daniel Suarez (finished 29th in the Daytona 500), Cody Ware (finished 39th at Atlanta), Ross Chastain (finished 20th at Dover) and Ryan Sieg (finished 26th at Dover).
Jeremy Thompson/The Racing Experts
Justin Melillo/The Racing Experts SOURCES Mcubed.net/NASCAR Racing-Reference.info