NASCAR has officially handed 23XI Racing driver Bubba Wallace a 1-race suspension after determining that he purposely drove his car into the one driven by 2021 NASCAR Cup Series champion Kyle Larson.
In an Instagram post titled “Reflection,” Wallace wrote the following: “I compete with immense passion, and with passion at times comes frustration, Upon reflecting, I should have represented our partners and core team values better than I did by letting my frustrations follow me outside of the car. You live and learn, and I intend to learn from this.”
Wallace (the only full-time African American driver in NASCAR’s Cup, Xfinity, and Truck Series) noted that he was apologetic for his “actions on Sunday following the on-track incident with Kyle Larson,” “to NASCAR and the Fans,” and to Joe Gibbs Racing. However, he also didn’t say he was sorry for his role in the crash preceding the altercation with Larson.
After spinning Larson’s vehicle around, Wallace exited his car and marched towards Larson, who’d gotten out of his own car as well. Then Wallace proceeded to follow Larson around and shove him multiple times, even as Larson tried to walk away. The entire incident went down at Sunday’s NASCAR playoffs at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
23XI Racing, co-owned by NBA great Michael Jordan and current Joe Gibbs Racing driver Denny Hamlin, gave its own statement on NASCAR’s verdict. “23XI is aligned with NASCAR on the one-race suspension issued to Bubba and we understand the need for the series to take a clear stand on the incidents that took place at Las Vegas Motor Speedway,” the team said in a statement.
“Bubba’s actions are not in keeping with the values of our team and partners,” the response continued. “We have spoken to Bubba and expressed our disapproval of how he handled the situation. Bubba has made impressive strides this season and this experience is an opportunity for him to further learn and grow as a competitor in NASCAR.”
Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR’s chief operating officer, joined SiriusXM NASCAR Radio’s SiriusXM Speedway yesterday and told host Dave Moody how the organization arrived at its judgment on Wallace. “Our actions are really specific to what took place on the race track,” O’Donnell said. “And when we look at how that incident occurred, in our minds, really a dangerous act.”
Wallace stands firm that his crash into Larson wasn’t intentional. His explanation remains that his steering wheel broke at the time, and Larson simply happened to be in front of him.
NASCAR’s Bubba Wallace Suspended For Crashing Into Kyle Larson’s Car was originally published on cassiuslife.com
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