Bubba Wallace has not endeared himself to NASCAR fans over the past couple of years.
In 2020, the NASCAR world was rocked after Wallace, who is black, claimed to have found a “noose” in the garage stall he was using at Alabama’s Talladega Superspeedway. But the FBI, which was called in to investigate, determined it was a false claim.
Then, earlier this month, Wallace shoved and tried to pick a fight with driver Kyle Larson after the two collided on the track, earning Wallace a one-race suspension.
His return over the weekend to Martinsville Speedway in Virginia for the Xfinity 500 was met with an earful from fans.
The Athletic’s Jeff Gluck reported: “Most boos in driver intros: Bubba Wallace, and it wasn’t very close (way more than Kyle Busch and Ty Gibbs).”
Most boos in driver intros: Bubba Wallace, and it wasn’t very close (way more than Kyle Busch and Ty Gibbs). pic.twitter.com/wti0kneWC1
— Jeff Gluck (@jeff_gluck) October 30, 2022
Wallace said before the race: “There’s a lot of good things going into this weekend. I’m not coming back with a vengeance or anything like that. I’m just going to continue to do what we’ve been doing. And for the record, I have talked to Larson, and we had a great conversation this week.
“I think the best thing for us is we both understood where our frustrations were and moving forward and how we both can handle those situations better,” Wallace continued. “They were understanding of the heat-of-the-moment type things, but they were very adamant about how we need to handle those five seconds later.
“You need to think, like I said earlier, you need to think before you do,” he added.
Wallace was suspended for one race after he crashed Kyle Larson at Lap 94 of the South Point 400 and proceeded to shove Larson, both violations of Sections 4.3.A and 4.4.C & E of the NASCAR Member Code of Conduct laid out in the NASCAR Rule Book.
Rule 4.4.C lists “intentionally wrecking or spinning another vehicle, whether or not that vehicle is removed from Competition as a result” as one of five member actions that could result in a penalty.
Bubba Wallace is NOT HAPPY with Kyle Larson.
— NASCAR on NBC (@NASCARonNBC) October 16, 2022