At this point, it’s almost comical. It’s now a foregone conclusion that something is going to happen in Sunday’s Dixie Vodka 400 (2:30 p.m. ET, NBC, MRN) at the Homestead-Miami Speedway to take your focus on the NASCAR Cup Series playoffs.
After Daytona was the officiating coming into question by not calling for a caution before it rained in Turn 1.
After the Southern 500 was the “crappy parts” comment by Kevin Harvick.
After Kansas was the tires, Kyle Busch moving to RCR and the 2023 schedules released.
After Bristol was more tires and power steering.
After Texas was all about tires. Oh yeah, also the officiating again for their role in a missed call on William Byron spinning Denny Hamlin under caution. There was also Alex Bowman announcing that he would miss the race at Talladega after suffering concussion like symptoms from his Texas crash.
After Talladega was the L-2 penalty levied against Kevin Harvick’s team. Then Bowman missing a race again. Cody Ware joined him on the sidelined list for the ROVAL. The appeal was also a big story from Byron because he was given him points back.
After the ROVAL was on Cole Custer’s role on the final lap and a huge L-2 penalty coming his way as well. You had Bowman announcing that he’d miss the next 3 races too as well as Kurt Busch saying that he won’t be full-time in 2023 which allowed Reddick to come to 23XI Racing a year early.
Now, we have a huge story back. This one featuring 2 controversial drivers in the sport. Bubba Wallace purposely spun Kyle Larson on Lap 94 in last Sunday’s race at Las Vegas. I use that word because that’s exactly what happened.
While Wallace can say his contact with the Turn 4 SAFER barrier knocked his steering out, no one is truly buying that. He said what he said because the Byron incident and how that went down with Byron admitted he spun Hamlin on purpose. Why would Wallace admit guilt?
However, Christopher Bell, Larson and anyone else with somewhat decent eyesight can see Wallace felt wronged by Larson and took matters in his own hands. His anger got the best of him.
Larson admitted that he would have been mad too if he was in Wallace’s shoes. Larson admitted that he drove into the corner too deep. Kevin Harvick lifted and bailed but Wallace didn’t feel like he should have to lift and played a high speed game of chicken with Larson.
Neither won. Larson squeezed Wallace into the wall. It wasn’t like he did it on purpose. Wallace should have recognized the situation and bailed too. He didn’t.
I get why you don’t want to, but he had to there. Then to do what he did next was egregious and frightening.
Wallace hooked Larson on purpose. He felt wronged. He was mad. However, he hooked a driver in a high speed part of the track in an angle that wasn’t going to go well.
11 years ago on Sunday, to the date, the NTT INDYCAR Series lost Dan Wheldon in a frightening crash in Turn 2. With safety being on the forefront and focus of this Next Gen now, even seeing NASCAR conduct another 75 minute long meeting with the competitors on Saturday to go over the slides on how they’ll improve this car for 2023, then later seeing Wallace’s teammate Kurt Busch announce he’s stepping away from the sport on a full-time basis to get right which was also a few days after Larson’s teammate announced that he’d miss at least the next 3 weeks due to a concussion from Texas, he purposely spun a competitor in a dangerous area of the track.
Luckily Larson got out and walked away, or at least tried to. Wallace couldn’t let it go. If wrecking a driver with a family wasn’t bad enough, he went over to confront him and pushed him several times.
That to me warrants a stiff penalty and in my opinion parking Wallace at least a race or two to send a message. This isn’t going to be tolerated.
However, this incident and us even discussing it takes the focus once again off the playoffs which also isn’t good either….