Driver Bubba Wallace is upset again (as usual), this time his frustration is aimed at Denny Hamlin (once again, pretty common), after the 23XI Racing drivers seemed to be gunning for each other during this weekends’s race at Richmond.
So, here’s the deal: Bubba Wallace was getting pretty miffed as he went head-to-head with his boss, Denny Hamlin, during the Cook Out 400 – and who can blame him, right? The stakes were high, with a NASCAR Playoff spot up for grabs, and those Toyotas were flying around the track. Trust me, the tension was electric.
In the first stage, it was Tyler Reddick who snagged the win, with Wallace and Hamlin hot on his tail. But as we rolled into the final stage, where every inch counts, Hamlin wasn’t giving Wallace any room to breathe.
The guys over at NBC reported that Wallace was none too pleased with his boss, Hamlin. The specifics of what was said over the radio weren’t revealed, but let’s just say, there was a fair bit of friction between the two.
Sunday July 30, 2023 4:10PM CDT: The NASCAR #CookOut400 at the 3/4 mile Richmond Raceway in Richmond Virginia 23222. #23 Bubba Wallace was in 1st place, pitted under green, came out 12th and at lap 242 is in 4th. His boss #11 Denny Hamlin is in 5th. pic.twitter.com/E7a7MyV7F7
— Born Again Joe 🌿💛🕊 (@BornAgainJoe3) July 30, 2023
As sports reporter Andrew Holleran at The Spun put it, “Hamlin appears to be embracing the villain role.”
Wallace was seriously quick throughout the day. He’s going to need a break or two, and some speedy restarts if he’s going to pull ahead. But hey, he’s one of the best at restarts this season, so he’s got that in his favor.
The 23XI Racing Toyotas started the race strong, but by the end, it’s like they ran out of steam. Both Tyler Reddick and Bubba Wallace were losing speed like they were running on fumes during the last 30 laps.
— NASCAR on NBC (@NASCARonNBC) July 30, 2023
Chris Buescher, on the other hand, was steady as a rock, leading the pack. Denny Hamlin was hot on his heels, trying to close the gap, but he was the only one even close. Wallace managed to snag a top-10 spot by the time they were waving the checkered flag, so not a total loss.
Here’s the thing, though – even though the race didn’t end quite like they wanted, no one really expected Wallace to do that well, but he went out there and racked up some major stage points and inched closer to the playoffs.
What’s your take on things? Let us know in the comments below and across social media.