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The Pitchforks Are Out for Bubba Wallace

Updated: Oct 24, 2022

Source: Rachel Schouler / Kickin' The Tires

The South Point 400 could have been a bonanza for Bubba Wallace in Vegas, but in the eyes of many he bet all his chips on seeing red.

The NASCAR Twitter community let it ride with tweets expressing disappointment in Wallace, not only for storming out of his vehicle and charging towards Larson, but vilifying him for what they too, accepted as intentional weaponization of his vehicle and complete loss of control over his emotions.

There is an over-abundance of social media outcry for NASCAR to issue punishments as severe as a suspension with fines and being dropped by some of the sport’s biggest sponsors.

Wallace had a rocket.

He won Stage 1, his second stage win in 2022, under a caution triggered by the No. 18 of Kyle Bush and led 29 laps, the most he’s led at Las Vegas Motor Speedway to date.

In Stage 2, Kyle Larson in the No. 5 Chevy for Hendrick Motorsports sent the 23XI Racing Toyota of Bubba Wallace into the wall, collecting the sole playoff contender in the crackup, the No. 20 JGR Toyota of Christopher Bell.

All three drivers, as a result, received DNF’s for the day.

When going into turn 3, Larson endeavored a three-wide pass. Wallace refused to lift and stated that he wasn’t in any position to lift.

Larson confirmed, “I made an aggressive move into 3. Got in low, got loose and chased it up a bit. I mean, he got to my right front, and it got him tight into the wall.”

Wallace called it “a piss poor move on his [Larson’s] execution.”

Naturally, many were quick to point the finger at Wallace with quick observation, making claims that hooking Larson was retaliatory.

Daniels, on the No. 5 team’s radio, expressed the sentiment, “If that wasn’t retaliation, I don’t know what is.”

“His race wasn’t over until he retaliated,” said Larson after he was released from the infield care center.

Throttle and steering data can be used to support the notion that Wallace’s slide down the track was intentional; however, nothing is certain until NASCAR completes a thorough investigation.

When Wallace made the claim that “the steering was gone,” pitchforks were already out. People stood by the conviction that he retaliated while ignoring the fragility of the NextGen car’s steering.

As for Wallace’s behavior after the accident and compromising Christopher Bell’s championship contention, he has publicly apologized.

When it comes to Vegas, the best lessons learned are understanding how crucial it is to know your limits and to make sure you are playing a fair game at an honest table.

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