Suspended Driver Wallace: Something ‘I’m Not Proud Of’

| Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Saturday, October 29 2022

Bubba Wallace sorry about incident with Kyle Larson. (File photo courtesy of NASCAR)

By Deb Williams | Senior Writer

MARTINSVILLE, Va. – Bubba Wallace said Saturday his one-race suspension for intentionally wrecking Kyle Larson during the Las Vegas NASCAR Cup race taught him he must think before executing.

“In this sport, it’s the heat of the moment type things that get to you,” Wallace said during a brief meeting with the media behind his transporter Saturday morning before practice at Martinsville Speedway. 

“Seeing that and going back and looking at a 10,000-foot view, definitely could have handled everything way different and been in a different spot. I put myself in a bad light. I put our team in a bad light, our sponsors – it’s just something that I’m not proud of, but moving on … (I’m) not allowed to make that mistake again.”

The incident with Larson occurred two weeks ago on lap 95 in the South Point 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The two were racing for position when Larson’s Chevrolet moved up the track towards Wallace as they exited turn four. Wallace brushed the wall. When Larson moved down, Wallace shot down the track, hit Larson in his right rear and turned him head-on into the wall.

His actions also adversely affected NASCAR Cup playoff contender Christopher Bell, eliminating him from the race. After the two wrecked cars stopped, Wallace jumped from his car, ran over to Larson who had exited his car and shoved him several times. 

The week after the incident Wallace apologized to Bell and he said he had talked with Larson.

“We had a great conversation this week,” Wallace said about Larson. “I think the best thing for us is we both understood where our frustrations were and moving forward how we both can handle those situations better.”

Wallace said team owners Michael Jordan and Denny Hamlin understood the “heat of the moment type things, but they were very adamant about how we need to handle those five seconds later.”

“Like I said, you need to think before you do,” Wallace said. “That was the biggest thing. They still support me.”

Wallace said the toughest part about his one race suspension was “sitting out and not being part of your normal routine”. However, he tried to help substitute driver John Hunter Nemechek “get the feel that he needed for practice, qualifying and the race” at Homestead last weekend. 

Wallace said he “totally” accepted the one-race suspension NASCAR gave him and the “repercussions that come from my actions.”

Wallace noted he had a good conversation with NASCAR President Steve Phelps and NASCAR COO Steve O’Donnell. He told them he was “good with being the example if we can keep this consistent moving forward.”

“It’s happened multiple times this year and it’s something that may continue to happen, you know, for other drivers down the road,” Wallace said. “I definitely learned my lesson, but we have to be consistent with this no matter if it’s here at Martinsville or if it’s at Daytona or Talladega. We have to keep it consistent across the boards and across the series.

“I’m not coming back with a vengeance or anything like that. I’m just going to continue to do what we’ve been doing.”

Sunday’s Xfinity 500 at Martinsville Speedway starts at 2 p.m. on NBC. The race will determine the four drivers vying for the championship next weekend at Phoenix.


| Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Saturday, October 29 2022
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