NASCAR Suspends Bubba Wallace For Wrecking Kyle Larson At Las Vegas

NASCAR drops the hammer.

In case you missed last weekend’s race at Round 94 of the NASCAR Cup Series South Point 400, Kyle Larson made a pass to Kevin Harvick to go head-to-head with him Bubba Wallace passing Harvick outside.

Larson drove up the track and pushed Bubba into the wall.

But Wallace knocked out Larson in a ferocious and swift display of retaliation after the contact, ending their two days and taking Christopher Bell, a playoff driver, with him in the process.

And then, after the accident, Bubba took off his helmet, walked over to Larson, who was just getting out of his own car, and started pushing him.

Larson declined to get involved in a roadside argument.

Immediately after the race, Bubba was quite harsh in his criticism of Larson:

“If you intentionally get bumped into the fence like him and try to force me to lift, the steering is gone… Larson wanted to build a three-wide dive bomb, never put me out.

And I don’t lift so I know I’m a bit new to running in front but I don’t lift…. just a crappy move in his execution.”

And when asked about the dangers of such retaliation at those high speeds, Bubba told the trackside reporter:

“Stop fishing, stop fishing…”

Seems a valid question to me, especially given the injuries we’ve seen in this new car this season. But OK…

Finally, when asked if he meant to knock out Toyota teammate Christopher Bell in the process, Bubba called it “sport.”

But after having some time to reflect on his actions (and, let’s be honest, heard from his team owners and sponsors), Bubba apologized.

In a statement posted to social media, Wallace apologized for his actions after the wreck – but didn’t appear to apologize to Larson for destroying it, other than the fact that Christopher Bell was knocked out in the incident.

“I would like to apologize for my actions on Sunday following the incident at the track involving Kyle Larson and the #5 car.

My behavior is not consistent with the core values ​​shared by 23XI Racing and our partners who have played a vital role in my incredible journey to the top of this great sport.

I want to apologize to NASCAR and the fans, as well as Christopher Bell, Joe Gibbs Racing and Toyota for putting them in a playoff situation they didn’t deserve.

I compete with immense passion, and with passion sometimes comes frustration. Come to think of it, I should have represented our partners and core team values ​​better than I did by letting my frustration dog me outside the car. You live and learn, and I intend to learn from it.”

And now NASCAR has spoken too.

NASCAR announced this afternoon that Wallace would be suspended for this weekend’s race at Homestead Miami Speedway over his alleged destruction of Larson.

In a press release, the sport said both of those actions were violations of NASCAR’s Member Code of Conduct, which lists “deliberately destroying or skidding another vehicle” as one of five member actions that may result in a penalty.

On SIRIUS XM, NASCAR President Steve O’Donnell said that Wallace’s suspension was a result of Wallace’s actions on the track. And he seemed to imply that the current circumstances surrounding car safety, where several drivers have been forced to miss races due to injuries sustained after major accidents and many openly claimed the car is not safe enough, played a role in NASCARs Decision to suspend Wallace.

“Our actions are really specific to what happened at the circuit. And if we look at how this incident happened, really a dangerous act in our eyes.

We thought that was intentional and endangered other competitors. And if you look at the sport and where we are today and where we want to draw that line going forward, we thought that definitely crossed the line and that’s what we focused on in that decision.”

O’Donnell also noted that while NASCAR is obviously not happy about drivers fighting as soon as they get out of the car, he understands that Bubba is a fierce competitor and that tempers often run high:

“We don’t want to see fights between drivers. We understand that emotions run high. Of course we don’t encourage that. But our focus was really on the track and we will have one-on-ones about what happened outside of the car and see how it goes.”

The suspension of a driver following an intentional accident at a competitor, while not unprecedented, is certainly rare and there have been numerous examples of drivers NOT being suspended for intentional accidents.

But according to O’Donnell, NASCAR wants to set a new precedent for the future – and unfortunately for Bubba that means he’ll be watching this weekend’s race from home. NASCAR Suspends Bubba Wallace For Wrecking Kyle Larson At Las Vegas

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