'What a joke': Bubba Wallace in $1.4m NASCAR controversy

Associated Press
·3-min read
Bubba Wallace, pictured here leaving his bumper on Michael McDowell's truck.
Bubba Wallace left his bumper on Michael McDowell's truck after the crash. Image: Fox/Twitter

Bubba Wallace is seething after he was crashed out of the qualifying race for NASCAR’s annual All-Star event on Wednesday, ruining his shot of racing for the $1 million prize (AU$1.4m).

One driver advanced into the All-Star race through a fan vote and Wallace had been leading when results were last updated by NASCAR a week ago.

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After he crashed 17 laps into Wednesday night's qualifying race - which awarded three additional slots to stage winners into the 20-driver All-Star field - he was no longer eligible to win the fan vote.

It didn't matter anyway as Clint Bowyer was named winner of the fan vote, and NASCAR said he received the most votes even with Wallace eliminated.

Ariuc Almirola advanced by winning the first stage, William Byron for winning the second stage and Matt DiBenedetto for winning the third stage.

But Wallace was still seething after his crash.

Wallace had race-ending contact with the wall when his No. 43 Chevrolet appeared to be turned from behind by Michael McDowell 17 laps into the first stage.

He said he didn’t need to see a replay because he knew McDowell’s contact was egregious.

“Just disrespect. When you get hooked into the wall, I don’t even need to see a replay,” Wallace said.

"People say he’s one of the nicest guys in the garage. I can’t wait for the God-fearing text that he is going to send me about preaching and praise and respect.

“What a joke he is.”

Bubba Wallace leaves present for McDowell

A piece of Wallace’s crumpled sheet metal was later placed on the back of McDowell’s team truck and Wallace was seen walking away.

Wallace climbed from his car and gave a thumbs-up to a contingent of fans cheering for him.

Roughly two dozen organisers from ‘Justice 4 the Next Generation’ traveled from Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia in an effort to diversify NASCAR.

Wallace is the only Black driver competing regularly in NASCAR's top series, and drivers rallied around him after a noose was found at his assigned stall at Talladega Superspeedway in Atlanta.

Bubba Wallace, pictured here after crashing in the NASCAR Cup Series All-Star Open.
Bubba Wallace was crashed out of the NASCAR Cup Series All-Star Open. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

Federal authorities ruled last month the noose had been hanging since October and was not a hate crime.

NASCAR and Speedway Motorsports were allowed to sell 30,000 tickets to the All-Star race, which was moved from Charlotte Motor Speedway for just the second time in the event's history.

North Carolina, where the race was held at Charlotte its first year in 1985 and every year since 1987, would not authorise spectators for the race.

with Yahoo Sports staff