Bubba Wallace has been the most popular name in NASCAR for over a month now. As the only black driver in the NASCAR Cup Series, Wallace has spoken out recently in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. He’s received a ton of support from the racing community and became a famous celebrity in the process.
His increasing popularity gave him the chances to earn a spot in NASCAR’s 2020 All-Star race, but an early crash in the qualifying race ruined his hopes of a $1 million payday.
Bubba Wallace is having the best year of his NASCAR career
Prior to 2020, Bubba Wallace’s highest finish in the final NASCAR Cup Series standings was 28th. He actually finished 28th in each of the past two seasons, but he’s on pace to have his best finish yet this year.
As it stands now, Wallace ranks 19th in points in the 2020 Cup Series. He’s accumulated 328 points through 17 races, which places him less than 100 points from a top-15 standing.
Wallace has three top-10 finishes already this season, matching his career-high. With 18 races remaining, it’s likely Wallace sets a career-high in that category.
Wallace placed ninth just two races ago at Indianapolis. He had momentum on his side entering Wednesday’s All-Star qualifying race, but an early crash wrecked his chances of making the annual All-Star race and competing for $1 million.
Wallace crashed out of the All-Star qualifying race
A week ago, Bubba Wallace was leading the fan vote to advance to NASCAR’s annual All-Star race. His newfound fame jolted him to the stop of the standings, so all he needed to do was finish the qualifying race on Wednesday.
However, Wallace and Michael McDowell collided and spun out just 17 laps through the race. Wallace was unable to finish the race, as his car was too damaged to continue.
Because he couldn’t finish the race, Wallace wasn’t eligible to win the fan vote and punch a ticket to the All-Star race. After he crashed, Clint Bowyer surged in front of Wallace in the fan vote to snag the final All-Star spot.
It might not have mattered in the end, but Wallace was heated after leaving the track Wednesday. If he made the All-Star event, he would’ve had the chance to race for $1 million.
Wallace was not happy with McDowell after missing out on the chance to win $1 million
NASCAR drivers can run pretty hot when they get spun out of a race. Wallace clearly thought McDowell was in the wrong after leaving the track Wednesday, and he didn’t mince words when asked about the crash.
“Just disrespect. When you get hooked into the wall, I don’t even need to see a replay,” Wallace said. “People say he’s one of the nicest guys in the garage. I can’t wait for the God-fearing text that he is going to send me about preaching and praise and respect. What a joke he is.”
Tell us how you really feel, Bubba.
Chase Elliott went on to win the All-Star race and a cool $1 million while Wallace was forced to watch from home.
Stats and standings courtesy of NASCAR