Bubba Wallace Doesn’t Hesitate in Calling Out NASCAR for ‘Ass Backwards’ Rule That Costs Him on Charlotte Roval
On Sunday, Bubba Wallace was eliminated from the NASCAR Cup Series playoffs at the Charlotte Roval. Despite no wins, this has unquestionably been his best year, making it into the second round of the postseason.
After the race, the 23XI Racing driver, who has notoriously been hard on himself in the past, was upbeat and encouraged by the team’s overall progress this season. But that didn’t stop the birthday boy, who turned 30, from calling out NASCAR for a rule that proved costly to him and his chances of advancing to the next round.
Bubba Wallace gets spun and penalized
Bubba Wallace had the best road course qualifying effort of his career this past weekend at the Charlotte Roval and started the race from the fourth position. The 30-year-old driver maintained that position through the first two stages, finishing second and seventh, respectively.
In that final stage, with 22 laps remaining, the No. 23 car had just moved into 10th place when Daniel Suarez came into the rear chicane too hot, drove into the rear of Austin Cindric, which then got into the rear of the 23XI Racing car and sent it for a spin. Wallace did a complete 360, didn’t stop, and blended into the action, losing a total of seven positions.
However, under the rules, any car that misses the chicane must make a complete stop before returning to the racetrack. Spotter Freddie Kraft informed his driver moments after the spin to make a complete stop on the front stretch to serve the penalty.
He did and dropped to 31st.
Wallace calls out NASCAR for ‘ass backwards’ rule
Despite that adversity, Wallace rebounded to finish 16th but was still eliminated from the playoffs. There’s no way of knowing how he might have finished had that incident not taken place, but the 23XI Racing driver was asked about what happened after the race and what he thought about the rule.
“Honestly, it’s such a BS rule,” Wallace said. “I lost so much track position, and I didn’t completely come to a stop, but I got blown through the chicane. And so I thought I’d just keep my momentum up and get back going, fall back in line, and go race it out from there. But we had to stop on the front stretch. We’re the only series I think that does that ass backwards. So, not surprised.”
NASCAR isn’t afraid to change rules. Before the 2024 season, which will include the Roval, the governing body needs to address this specific rule and hopefully it will reflect if a driver misses a chicane through no fault of his own, he won’t be penalized in addition to the penalty of already losing spots from the incident.
That’s the right thing to do and it will avoid future similar situations that could potentially affect a driver from advancing to the next round of the playoffs.