NASCAR star Bubba Wallace intentionally caused an accident during Sunday’s Cup Series race, then violently confronted the driver he crashed into.
Driver Kyle Larson nudged Wallace’s car into a wall during the South Point 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway while trying to make a pass, and Wallace retaliated with a deliberate crash that ended the race for both drivers on Lap 95.
After brushing the wall, Wallace appeared to deliberately chase after Larson’s blue Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 and hit the car’s rear end, in a move that sent both cars spinning out across the track and out of the NASCAR Playoffs’ race. The seemingly payback seeking move also took out his Toyota teammate Christopher Bell.
Following the crash, Wallace hopped out of his car and physically attacked Larson, who tried to back away as the McDonald’s sponsored driver repeatedly shoved him until a NASCAR official broke up the altercation.
The official tried to talk to Wallace as he stalked away, but the Toyota Camry driver shoved his hands off and continued to stride away.
Larson said that he wasn’t surprised Wallace retaliated on the track after his “aggressive move,” and admitted that the other driver “had a reason to be upset” by the tap into a wall.
“I knew he was going to retaliate. He had a reason to be mad,” Larson told a reporter. “His race wasn’t over until he retaliated. It is what it is. Just aggression turned into frustration and he retaliated.”
Larson noted that he “is not a fighter” and chose not to engage when Wallace began shoving him, but that he would rather have been subject to the physical aggression over the hit that destroyed both of their cars.
“I wasn’t going to fight back, so I think it would just look bad on his part,” he concluded.
Wallace accused the same interviewer of “fishing” when asked if it was acceptable to retaliate against Larson.
“These cars break so when you get shoved into the fence, like deliberately like he did, trying to force me to lift, steering was gone,” Wallace denied. “He just so happened to be there.”
“He knows that what he did was wrong. He wanted to question what I was doing,” he said about Larson. “He never cleared me so just hate it for our team, our McDonald’s Toyota Camry was super solid.”
Social media commenters believe Wallace knew exactly what he was doing, and have called for his suspension.
“Steering was broke yeah right. We all saw you turn your car right in to him,” one person wrote.
“Suspend this man immediately, I used to respect him but that was absolutely disgraceful,” posted another.
“Suspend him,” somebody echoed. “You don’t try to kill a guy and then try to fight him.”
Ultimately Penske driver Joey Logano won the 400-mile race and secured his spot in the Championship 4, who will battle it out in the final leg of the 2022 season at the Phoenix Raceway in November.