Bubba Wallace was not happy with himself after he wrecked Kyle Larson and junked his car during the race at Circuit of the Americas (COTA) in Austin, Texas on Sunday.
Wallace appeared to completely forget to hit the brakes coming into Turn 12 and slammed hard into Kyle Larson.
Following the contact with Larson, one could see he broke the toe link on his car and hobbled it back to pit road where he parked it for the rest of the race.
Interestingly, moments after Wallace took out Larson, Denny Hamlin appeared to spin out Larson in order to protect Wallace from possible any possible revenge.
Here’s a look from Hamlin’s in-car camera:
At the time, the announcers believed Larson wasn’t looking for revenge against Wallace, but rather was just trying to enter pit road.
The announcers would also later relay that Larson was indeed trying to enter pit road. However, even after the caution flag came out, Larson did not enter right away.
Larson and Wallace do have a contentious history to consider. During the South Point 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in October of last year, Wallace drove his car into the wall during some hard racing with Larson. After contact with the wall, Wallace bounced into Larson, who dove to the bottom of the track to avoid Wallace, who then chased him down the track and purposely clipped his right rear quarter panel. The contact would send Larson spinning up the track into Christopher Bell and the outside wall.
Wallace would also spin up the track and smack the wall, nose first.
After taking out Larson and Bell, Wallace exited his car and slowly walked down to where Larson’s car had come to a stop. When Wallace arrived at Larson’s car, it appears he had some quick words with him before he began shoving him back into the car.
Larson did not engage though and attempted to keep Wallace at bay while continuing to close in on him. Larson did eventually give a shove to keep Wallace from further closing in on him. However, Wallace continued to instigate and shove him.
Finally, a track official arrived on the scene and separated the two drivers. Wallace wound up being suspended for a whole race by NASCAR for his actions.
Once Wallace exited his vehicle at COTA, he spoke to Fox Sports’ pit reporter Jamie Little and explained that his day was ended due to the broken toe link as well as an oil line.
“Broke a toe link in the rear and then oil line. Just trying my hardest not to go down that slippery slope of self-doubt, right here,” Wallace said. “Two weeks in a row making rookie mistakes. Six years in the Cup. Need to be replaced.”
Wallace finished the day in 37th only ahead of Jimmie Johnson and Ty Dillon, who were involved in a Lap 1 wreck and were unable to continue.
Wallace’s 23XI Racing teammate, Tyler Reddick, dominated much of the race when he wasn’t behind the eight ball due to an early strategy call that was going to force him to have to pit an extra time due to fuel mileage.
However, a late race caution leveled the playing field and put him back on the same strategy as everyone else. He quickly worked his way back to the front and then managed multiple late race restarts from the lead to secure the victory.
As Wallace mentioned, he also had a poor performance the week prior at Atlanta Motor Speedway where he finished in 27th.
Wallace spun out by himself at Atlanta and severely damaged the front of his car just 10 laps into the race. He would never recover from the accident.
Following the race at COTA, Wallace finds himself on the outside looking in for the playoff picture. He’s currently 19th, 108 points behind current leader Ross Chastain.
Looking specifically at the playoff picture, he’s in 20th given William Byron has two wins and is locked into the playoffs. Byron is currently in 22nd overall due to 100 point driver penalty issued by NASCAR for “unapproved parts modifications” to his car’s hood louvres at Phoenix.
Wallace is 36 points behind his team owner Denny Hamlin for the final playoff spot.
Wallace has become a flashpoint for NASCAR fans, and analysts alike, due to his numerous outrageous and offensive actions over the past two years.
An overwhelming majority of fans disagree that NASCAR only suspended Wallace for a single race for his recklessness and physical attack of another driver.
Former NASCAR Cup Series driver and current analyst for NBC Sports Kyle Petty made it clear he disagrees with NASCAR’s punishment
And there is a spreading demand among NASCAR fans for principal sponsor McDonald’s to drop Wallace completely.
Wallace is one of the least popular drivers in the sport, with much of the disdain from fan’s stemming from Wallace accusing them of racism after he pushed the false claim that someone left a noose on his car at Talladega. In actuality it was a garage door pull.
He called the door pull a “despicable act of racism and hatred.” He posted to Twitter, “Today’s despicable act of racism and hatred leaves me incredibly saddened and serves as a painful reminder of how much further we have to go as a society and how persistent we must be in the fight against racism.”
When the claim was disproven, Wallace didn’t apologize for accusing fans of racism, he doubled down on his accusations — angering many fans.
After the FBI concluded no crime was committed, Wallace embraced the hoax telling CNN’s Don Lemon, “I’m pissed. I’m mad because people are trying to test my character and the person that I am and my integrity. They’re not stealing that away from me, but they’re just trying to test it.”
He later told Lemon, “It was a noose. Whether tied in 2019 or whatever, it was a noose. So, it wasn’t directed at me but somebody tied a noose. That’s what I’m saying.”
But it was not a noose, said even the FBI who wasted their time investigating the farce.
FBI spokesman Paul Daymond told CNN, “It’s my understanding that the rope was fashioned into a noose knot and used as a door pull.”
Wallace has never apologized for his involvement in bracing the noose hoax. However, he has been rewarded for it. His off track activity was one of the key accomplishments touted as part of his contract extension announcement made by 23XI Racing earlier this year.
Wallace has also raised some eyebrows with his comments on a Christian rival driver, as well as Kyle Rittenhouse.
Minutes after a jury in Kenosha, Wisconsin, announced its verdict clearing Rittenhouse of every charge lodged against him, Wallace pronounced the verdict “sad” and hinted that it was a result of racism.
“Ha, let the boy be black and it would’ve been life…hell he would’ve had his life taken before the bullshit trial… sad,” Wallace tweeted.
What do you make of Wallace’s comments after he took himself out at during the race at COTA? Do you think he needs to be replaced?