Wallace comes home runner-up for the 2nd time in 5 years in Daytona 500

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla — Bubba Wallace nearly did it again. In his first ever start in the Daytona 500 back in 2018, he finished .260-seconds beside Austin Dillon. Four years later, he was back there again finishing second in the third closest finish ever in the Daytona 500.

Wallace, was fifth on the final lap pushing his good buddy Ryan Blaney in front of him down the backstretch. Austin Cindric wasn’t making a mistake in front in the lead.

Brad Keselowski and Chase Briscoe rode in the high line but couldn’t make it work. Blaney and Keselowski sparked a crash coming to the checkered flag to allow Wallace to drag race Cindric to the finish line.

Cindric, narrowly topped him by .036-seconds.

“What could have been, right?” Wallace said. “Man, need to talk about some happy stuff here. Just dejected, but the thing that keeps me up is just the hard work that we put into our speedway stuff and the hard work from everybody at 23-11, proud of them, can’t thank them enough.

“I knew this was a big move last year for me to go out and be competitive, and we’re showing that.”

Wallace said that it’s empowering and encouraging to come out of the gates this hot to start a season off.

“It’s always the first race of the season and you’re getting through everything, but when you come out of the gates like that, it’s empowering, it’s encouraging,” he continued. ‘So thanks, everybody, back at the shop, McDonald’s, almost got them another one, back-to-back superspeedway wins. That would have been awesome, especially with it being the 500. But just short.

“I thought our Toyota teammates did good work until they got picked off 1, 2, 3 throughout the race, so we just had to survive.

“Great Speedweeks, though. We’ll come home second. I’m going to be pissed off about this one for a while. I was happy on the first second place we got a couple years ago. This one sucks when you’re that close, but all-in-all, happy for our team, happy for our partners, and on to California.”

Wallace, won the last superspeedway race at Talladega last October and was runner-up here last August too. That’s three straight top two finishes on superspeedway’s for him.

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