Wallace 'blindsided' by late drop after leading first NASCAR laps

Richard Petty Motorsports's Darrell Wallace Jr says he was devastated and "blindsided" by his fall to 16th at Bristol after leading his first NASCAR Cup series laps

After the race resumed on Monday afternoon following a rain delay, Wallace took the lead of the race on lap 375 of 500 when he passed Penske's Brad Keselowski.

He stayed at the front for a total of six laps before Joe Gibbs Racing's Kyle Busch took the lead.

While he remained in the top 10 for the majority of the race, Wallace fell to 16th at the end as he struggled with handling.

"[It was a] hell of a day," said Wallace.

"I didn't know what to expect and we fired off like a freaking badass and got our way up to 10th in that second stage.

"That was good [to] get some stage points and get up to the lead. I was as surprised as anybody.

"Going through the emotions we were really good and that last caution came out and we were struggling with left front [tyre] problems late on runs, locking up easily, but [I] still was able to make decent ground."

Wallace said he was unsure about what caused him to fall so far down the order.

"All of a sudden it went away and man, [I was] just blindsided there by that," he said.

"[It was a] great car all day, nothing to be pissed off about, that is racing. You could be good for a second and then the next second you are not, but awesome takeaways.

"The momentum is still here. I'm just dejected because I'm scratching my head on where the hell we went wrong or what we did wrong.

"I don't think we did anything wrong, I guess that is big-time auto racing, but it was a good day."

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