Bubba Wallace Has Fiery Response to ‘Piss-Poor’ Wreck, Fight With Kyle Larson

Bubba Wallace

Getty Bubba Wallace went after Kyle Larson after a wreck at Las Vegas.

The Cup Series playoff race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway took a stunning turn early in Stage 2. Contact between Kyle Larson and Bubba Wallace led to a wreck, as well as shoves from the driver of the No. 45 Toyota Camry.

The incident occurred while Wallace was battling Kevin Harvick for position on the track. Larson made it three-wide on the inside while the driver of the No. 4 backed off the gas. The defending Cup Series champion then slid up the track, which crowded Wallace into the outside wall. The driver of the No. 45 rebounded off the wall, dove down, and hooked Larson into the outside wall — seemingly intentionally — which destroyed both cars.

The incident was not over. Wallace climbed out of the No. 45, walked across the track, and over to Larson’s No. 5 Chevrolet. He then shoved his fellow driver several times while yelling at him. Officials rushed over to separate Wallace, but he turned and walked toward pit road.

“Hate it. Hate it for our team,” Wallace told NBC Sports after exiting the infield care center. “Fast, super-fast car. Had no short-run speed as you were seeing, kind of falling there. Larson wanted to make a three-wide divebomb, never cleared me.

“I don’t lift. I know I’m kind of new to running up front, but I don’t lift,” Wallace continued. “Wasn’t even in a spot to lift, and he never lifted either. Now we’re junk. Just a piss-poor move on his execution.”

Along with sending both Wallace and Larson to the infield care center, the alleged on-track retaliation also had an impact on the playoff standings. Christopher Bell, the driver who won his way into the Round of Eight, sustained extensive damage after getting clipped by a spinning Larson.

Bell had to take the damaged No. 20 to pit road for repairs, and he fell five laps down while the team tried to get him back in the race. However, he was unable to continue, so he finished 34th out of the 36-car field.

Larson Responded After Exiting the Infield Care Center

Las Vegas Motor Speedway

GettyOn-track retaliation wrecked 3 cars at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Wallace was clearly angry after exiting the infield care center, which was reflected in how he spoke to NBC Sports’ Marty Snider. Larson had a different response after also undergoing evaluation at the infield care center.

“No, I mean, it didn’t surprise me,” Larson said about the on-track retaliation. “I obviously made an aggressive move into [Turn] 3 and got in low and got loose and chased it up a bit. He got to my right front and it got him tight into the wall. Knew he was going to retaliate.

“I mean, he had a reason to be mad, but his race wasn’t over until he retaliated. It is what it is — just aggression turned into frustration, and he retaliated.”

Larson continued and said that he and many other drivers have let their emotions get the best of them on the track. He noted that Wallace is still mad at him but that he will “realize he made a mistake” after calming down and that he will “think twice” before retaliating on the track again.

NASCAR Could Potentially Penalize Wallace

The incident removed both drivers from the Cup Series race, but it may not yet be over. NASCAR will have a say after examining multiple factors, which could lead to penalties for Wallace and the No. 45 team.

Section 4.4C of the NASCAR Rule Book covers actions that lead to the loss of 25-50 points and a $50,000-$100,000 fine. Suspensions are also an option based on the exact violation.

This section is actually the one that NASCAR cited when it issued a penalty to William Byron for intentionally spinning Denny Hamlin under caution at Texas Motor Speedway. Once Hendrick Motorsports received an altered penalty under appeal, the sanctioning body altered the wording of the section.

The new line of text now reads: “Intentionally wrecking or spinning another vehicle, whether or not that vehicle is removed from Competition as a result.”

If NASCAR determines that Wallace intentionally wrecked Larson before shoving him, the driver will likely receive a penalty. Though NASCAR won’t provide this information until the release of its weekly penalty report on Tuesday, October 18.


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