Bubba Wallace Apologizes to the Haters After Testing Next-Gen Car ‘Without a Scratch’

by Emily Morgan

After Bubba Wallace’s second test of the NASCAR Next-Gen racecar, Wallace made some teasing comments on Twitter following the event. On Wednesday, Wallace took part in a test of the NASCAR Cup Series to test the P3 prototype of the car at Richmond Raceway in Virginia.

Wallace, who drives for Michael Jordan’s and Denny Hamlin’s new 23XI Racing team, was behind the wheel of the car, which plans to make its Cup Series debut in 2022. Following the race, Wallace took aim at his critics, who assumed he would wreck the vehicle. On Twitter, he wrote, “Apologies to all the peeps I let down. Next Gen car put away without a scratch!” He also added a peace-sign emoji and a gif as a way to poke fun at his haters.

Wallace was not driving a manufacturer-specific model but instead one of the prototypes that NASCAR has tested before the event. Specific manufacturer tests of the Next Gen race car’s updated editions are set to debut shortly.

As for Wallace’s trial, he spent the day testing the car’s driveability at the 0.75-mile Richmond Raceway short track. In February, NASCAR said that all of the car’s designs had been approved, and they plan to release the designs this spring.

Bubba Wallace Sets Sights on Honor Quiktrip 500 Race This Weekend

In late March, the Next-Gen car will be tested alongside all three manufacturers’ cars at Martinsville track in Ridgeway, Virginia. Drivers and fans first got a look at the Next-Gen car when it premiered at the Daytona International Speedway with Roush Fenway Racing’s Chris Buescher taking the wheel. Driver Austin Dillon also put it through its paces for its first on-track test in Richmond on Oct. 8-9, 2019. Later, in November, it came out again at the Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval. In Charlotte, Martin Truex Jr. and Kyle Busch took part in the first series of tests. According to NASCAR, The Next-Gen car’s competition debut will be sometime in 2022.

Wallace will get back behind the wheel of his #23 Toyota for this Sunday’s Honor QuikTrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway, which wraps up the Cup Series. Beginning at 3:00 p.m. ET., FOX will broadcast the race. Wallace will start the race in 15th place.

Denny Hamlin takes to the track sitting in the first position for this Sunday’s race. NASCAR is also forgoing any qualifying runs this weekend to avoid excessive exposure during the COVID-19 pandemic.

NASCAR will split the metric into 25 percent, which comes from a driver’s finishing position from the previous race, and 25 percent comes from the car owner’s finishing position of the previous race. Then, 35 percent comes from the owner’s points ranking, and finally, 15 percent comes from the fastest lap of the last race.