Bubba Wallace took the blame for a late race accident that ended the race at Talladega and saw him end the day with a 28th place finish.
Chaos began as soon as the green flag dropped for NASCAR Overtime as Ty Gibbs ran out of gas and dropped to the bottom of the track resulting in the bottom lane losing a ton of momentum and allowing Kyle Busch, Bubba Wallace, and Brad Keselowski to move ahead of Ryan Blaney and Aric Almirola, who dominated much of the end of the third and final stage of the race.
Almirola would fade, but Blaney would get help from his teammate Austin Cindric who led a trio of cars in the top lane. Both Blaney and Wallace would jump in front of the top line with Wallace leading the race as they took the white flag.
Blaney had a huge run going into the first corner and dove to the bottom. Wallace responded by blocking him. Blaney then looked to go to the outside of Wallace. Again, Wallace blocked him. Blaney would then look to the outside again and this time he got his bumper alongside Wallace right rear fender. When Wallace attempted to block him a third, Wallace spun himself out making contact with Brad Keselowski.
Not only did Wallace spin himself out, but Cindric spun off the nose of Martin Truex Jr. as he anticipated Wallace’s wreck and had lifted. Cindric would make contact with A.J. Allmendinger sending him into Martin Truex Jr. and the outside wall.
Busch seeing Wallace’s repeated blocks had dove to the bottom of the track below the yellow line to avoid him. The move would earn him the win.
Following the conclusion of the race, Wallace admitted the fault lied with him.
When asked what happened, Wallace said, “Just got junked by the 12. No, I pulled a late block. Close, close, close block and just sent us around. Not the 12’s fault.”
“I honestly thought that he would leave me high and dry coming back around and so just hate it,” he continued. “Hate it for my team and that’s how it goes. That was our best by far plate race by fat that we’ve ever done so hats off to the 23 group, Freddie [Kraft] up on top off the roof. Just a great day for us, just a crap result. So hate it.”
He then reiterated it was his fault, “I caused that one. And man, I just thought it’d play out a little different, obviously, not getting wrecked. But I thought the move would happen coming off the trioval.”
Wallace went on to analyze what happened from his seat, “The way we were shoving and pushing, we were kind of getting each other out of whack instead of moving the momentum forward. And then when I got the move it was like, ‘Okay, cool.’ And it was all about defending. And you can’t let your guard down for one second or you end up in here.”
He then went on to reveal that he was excited to see Blaney get behind him, “When I seen the 12 I was pumped. When I seen the 12 I was pumped. We were work well together, obviously, every speedway race. That’s the way it goes. Not the 12’s fault at all.”
Immediately following the race, Blaney shared his analysis of the end of the race, “Everyone was pretty close on gas. I thought the last restart choosing the bottom again with the 10 behind us was a good thing. He and I worked really well together all day and I think the 54 ran out [of gas] at the restart zone so that kind of hurt our lane and we didn’t get going and we fell to fourth or whatever.”
“But I was able to kind of build a run back again to get to second down the front stretch into one,” he continued. “Someone makes a kind of triple move blocking, that doesn’t work anymore. You can’t go from the middle to the bottom to the top to block the guy when you’re two feet behind them.”
He went on, “It’s one of those things that it’s hard to block in these cars, but as the leader you can’t blame anybody for blocking, you know you have to do it. It’s just really tough to do. Obviously, I don’t mean to turn anybody, but then really know where else to go.”
“It’s a shame we couldn’t race it out there to the end,” he concluded. “Shame to be close again at this track, but at least we finished.”
Blaney finished the race in second behind Kyle Busch.
With the win Kyle Busch moved up to fifth in the NASCAR Cup Series Standings. He’s only 41 points behind current leader Christopher Bell. He’s currently in third in the Playoff Standings behind Bell and Kyle Larson with 16 Playoff Points.
Blaney is currently 8th in the standings, 55 points behind Bell. However, he’s in 11th in the Playoff Standings and has yet to win a race this year.
Meanwhile is in 21st in the Cup Standings, 140 points behind Bell. He’s also outside of the Playoff picture looking in in 21st place, 49 points behind Alex Bowman, who currently resides in the 16th and final Playoff spot.
What do you make of Wallace taking the blame for the wreck?