NASCAR: Bubba Wallace Apologizes to Christopher Bell Following Las Vegas Incident

by Nick Geddes
(Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)

Bubba Wallace has apologized to Christopher Bell for the incident at Las Vegas Motor Speedway Sunday, in which Wallace intentionally wrecked Kyle Larson, taking out Bell in the process.

“He just apologized for what went down and the fact that we got taken out in his unfortunate circumstances,” Bell told reporters Wednesday, via NBC Sports.

Bell noted that Wallace apologized during Monday’s Toyota competition meeting. Bell, the victor in the Charlotte Motor Speedway Road Course the week prior, clipped Larson while trying to avoid the wreck. His No. 20 Rheem Toyota Camry picked up damage and he was soon out of the race. Bell finished 34th and is now last among playoff drivers in the Round of 8.

NASCAR, meanwhile, suspended Wallace for Sunday’s Dixie Vodka 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Wallace was upset after Larson made a move in the corner which forced Wallace into the wall. He retaliated by hooking Larson’s right rear, sending both cars crashing into the wall. Wallace’s frustration carried over as the two exited their cars, with Wallace shoving Larson multiple times.

NASCAR chief operating officer Steve O’Donnell told SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Tuesday that the suspension had to do with “what took place on the race track.”

When we look at how that incident occurred, in our minds it was really a dangerous act,” O’Donnell said. “We thought that was intentional and put other competitors at risk. As we look at the sport and where we are, we thought that definitely crossed the line.”

Bubba Wallace Issues Apology for Incident

Wallace, driving the No. 45 McDonald’s Toyota Camry in place of injured 23XI Racing teammate Kurt Busch, issued a public apology Monday.

“I compete with immense passion, and with passion at times comes frustration,” Wallace said. “Upon reflecting, I should have represented our partners and core team values better than I did by letting my frustrations follow me outside of the car. You live and learn, and I intend to learn from this.”

23XI Racing announced Wednesday that John Hunter Nemechek will fill in for Wallace at Homestead-Miami this weekend. Nemechek drives the No. 4 Toyota Tundra for Kyle Busch Motorsports in the Truck Series. He has 13 wins to his name and last raced in the Cup Series in 2020.