Bubba Wallace at Daytona via Motorsports on NBC YouTube, screenshot

Kyle Petty Calls Out Bubba Wallace For Dodging Pre-Race Interviews: “If Mentally He Is That Fragile, Then Maybe This Is Not The Game For Him”

During the recent NASCAR Cup Series race at Daytona International Speedway, which served as the regular-season finale and the last opportunity for drivers to secure playoff spots, both Bubba Wallace and Ty Gibbs chose to forgo pre-race interviews due to the pressure of the situation.

Bubba Wallace at Daytona via Motorsports on NBC YouTube, screenshot

Wallace, driving for 23XI Racing with connections to Joe Gibbs Racing, was above the cutline, while Gibbs, racing for Joe Gibbs Racing, was below it.

Wallace eventually secured the last playoff spot after the race and then conducted post-race interviews, but this brought some major criticism from driver Kyle Petty, who seriously disapproved of his pre-race decision to dodge reporters before jumping into his vehicle .

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“Listen, for professional athletes to refuse interviews is unacceptable in any game,” Kyle Petty told reporters after the race “Unacceptable to your fans, unacceptable to your sport. Ty Gibbs did the same thing.

“I don’t know how these guys think that’s acceptable. Because, that’s what you’re here for. That’s what they pay you the money for. It’s that stupid saying, ‘That’s why you make the big bucks dude.’

“You gotta handle it. Put it on your shoulders and carry it. If mentally he is that fragile, then maybe this is not the game for him, honestly.”

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Petty did attempt to walk back some of the harshness however, adding that “Being in these positions will make him stronger. It’s trial by fire.

“When you win, if you want us to come talk to you. Expect to come talk to us, also when you lose. That’s a slap in the face, in a lot of ways, to the fans, media and everybody.”

After the race, Wallace did express to reporters of feeling mentally drained and stressed, mentioning that the past week had been exceptionally challenging.

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