NASCAR: Bubba Wallace Emotional After Narrowly Missing Daytona 500 Victory

by Jonathan Howard

This was a great Daytona 500. While Austin Cindric celebrated, though, second-place finisher Bubba Wallace is thinking, “what if?”

Every year, there is at least one or two drivers in the same position as Wallace tonight. Feeling like you were one move or just one break away from winning the biggest race of your life. This is the second time that the driver has finished runner-up at the Daytona 500. This latest one feels about as bitter as the first did sweet.

Bubba Wallace talked about the feelings he had immediately following the race.

“First of all, that’s pretty damn cool to win the 500 in I think your first attempt, maybe not. [First] full season for him, so congrats to Austin,” Wallace said. “What could have been, right? … I need to talk about some happy stuff here. Just dejected. But the thing that keeps me up is just the hard work that we put into our speedway stuff.”

“When you come out of the gates like that, it’s empowering it’s encouraging. Thanks to everybody back at the shop,” the driver continued. “McDonald’s, [I] almost got them another one, back-to-back Speedway wins would have been awesome, especially being the 500, but ahhh just short.”

To summarize his feelings, Wallace put it pretty simply towards the end of the video

“I’m going to be pissed off about this one for a while.”

While it is tough to lose the Daytona 500 by just half a car or less, Bubba Wallace has a lot to be happy about. This is another top-10 finish for the driver. He starts the season off with a big result. Now, he hopes that he can replicate that.

You know what they say about ifs and buts, though.

Bubba Wallace Loses Close One at Daytona 500

Here, you have the despair and dejected feelings of Bubba Wallace. Then, on the other side of things, there is the elation of Austin Cindric. Sports, y’all. They’re amazing that way. For Wallace, the plan moving forward seems simple enough. Replicate these results. Make the playoffs. It’s clear that Wallace knows the plan to a good Superspeedway race. Can that extend to other courses?

With a new teammate in Kurt Busch, the 23XI driver has big plans. Team co-owner and NASCAR driver, Denny Hamlin, wants to see both of them in the playoffs. That is the hope of every team, of course. After one race on the season, maybe there is something there for the team.

Bubba Wallace didn’t take the win today. But, that doesn’t mean that his season is over. Just one race down. Many more to go. And, there are going to be a lot of points up for grabs moving forward. Each lap, each stage, each race. Just take it one at a time.