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Wallace Moves Up, Dillon Down in Xfinity Series Chase

| Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Monday, October 10 2016
Joey Logano got the win in Sunday's hurricane-delayed Xfinity Series race in Charlotte. (RacinToday/HHP photo by Andrew Coppley)

Joey Logano got the win in Sunday’s hurricane-delayed Xfinity Series race in Charlotte. (RacinToday/HHP photo by Andrew Coppley)

CONCORD, N.C. – After Sunday’s Drive for the Cure 300 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, Darrell Wallace Jr. admitted he could shed a tear for joy, but a devastated Ty Dillon probably could have shed many for disappointment.

That’s because Wallace, who finished 20th, advanced to the second round in the Xfinity Series Chase while Dillon didn’t with his 11th-place finish.

“It’s heartbreaking,” Dillon said. “We’re a team that should have been in the final round. You’ve got to be able to rebound (when you have a bad race) if you’re going to win a championship and we weren’t able to rebound good enough.”

A crash in the Chase’s opening race at Kentucky left Dillon with a 27th-place finish. He rebounded with a second at Dover, but fell one position short of what he needed to advance at the 1.5-mile Charlotte track. The 24-year-old Dillon needed to pass Ryan Sieg, who placed 10th, in order to gain a position in the Round of 8, but he wasn’t able to complete the mission.

“We had so much momentum coming off of Dover, a car capable of winning the race, and today (Sunday) we couldn’t even stay on the lead lap,” Dillon said with dejection in his voice. “I’ve wanted this championship so bad every year that I’ve run the Xfinity Series; it just hurts.”

In addition to Dillon, the other three drivers failing to advance were Sieg, rookie Brandon Jones and Brennan Poole. Those drivers, in addition to Wallace, advancing to the Chase’s second round were Daniel Suarez, Elliott Sadler, Justin Allgaier, Erik Jones, Brendan Gaughan and Ryan Reed.

The Chase’s second round starts next weekend at Kansas, then has two weeks off before picking up at Texas in November and concluding at Phoenix. The top four in the standings will compete for the championship at Homestead Nov. 19.

“I’m gonna try to relax (after Kansas) and take a little vacation, but still focus on the big picture knowing that we still have to work for it,” Wallace said. “I never got too frustrated and never put it in the fence (today) while I was up there at the top. I was trying to get all I could to keep us going, but we’ve just got to get better. I don’t like running20th. For me, I was just really bummed out about the race, but when they said you made it by one point I kind of wanted to shed a little tear.

“Momma always said there are gonna be hard days in front of the good ones; they only make you stronger. We have to use it as a little bit of motivation knowing that we can do better and go onto Kansas and try to do a lot better than what we did today.”

| Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Monday, October 10 2016
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