HomeNewsNASCAR Suspends Bubba Wallace’s Crew Chief

NASCAR Suspends Bubba Wallace’s Crew Chief

by Jacklyn Krol
Jared C. Tilton, Getty Images

William Darrell “Bubba” Wallace Jr.’s crew chief, Jerry Baxter, has been suspended. The incident took place at the Foxwoods Resort Casino 301 on Sunday (August 2).

What Happened

Wallace lost his starting spot and was penalized ten points after the pre-race inspection discovered improperly mounted ballast. Baxter was at fault which stripped Wallace’s car of its starting spot for the New Hampshire Motor Speedway Cup. Wallace started at position fifteen.

Corey LaJoie’s crew chief, Ryan Sparks, was also suspended for the same issue. LaJoie also had ten points deducted and started at position 33. Austin Dillon, No. 2 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet, was also forced to the rear due to “unapproved adjustments.” Dillon started behind Wallace at spot 23.

With the point deductions, Wallace began the race at 21st place while LaJoie remained in 29th place. Furthermore, Wallace dropped to 318 points which allowed Chris Buescher, to get ahead with 321 points.

Bubba Wallace Free Agent?

At the end of the 2020 NASCAR season, Wallace’s contract with Richard Petty Motorsports will end. He will become a free agent, however, he may return to the brand. Andrew Murstein, Richard Petty Motorsports owner told Forbes that he offered Wallace an ownership stake in the No. 43 racecar.

“We’re in discussions with him about an extension that includes ownership in the team,” Murstein shared. In addition, he said that he expects they will come to an agreement “within the next couple of weeks.”

“There’s a plethora of drivers. There is only one Bubba,” Murstein told the outlet. “We went from probably having one meeting a week with a potential sponsor to five the last five weeks or so. I think Bubba is probably the most recognizable NASCAR driver now, other than Richard Petty. So we’ve got probably the two most recognizable names in the sport. It’s a marketer’s dream.”

Bubba Wallace in the Press

Wallace has been in the press for his impeccable driving and his words concerning social justice and race. Wallace helped get the Confederate Flag banned at all NASCAR events.

Besides his work for equality, Wallace has faced backlash from the sport. Earlier this month at the All-Star Open, the Confederate Flag was flown both inside the venue and outside the venue. In June he was the headline after a noose was found in his Talladega Superspeedway garage stall. It was later determined that he was not the target and it was there for months for an unknown reason.