In yesterday’s Daytona 500, Bubba Wallace suffered a crushing defeat at the hands of Austin Cindric. In the final moments of the race, Austin Cindric, Ryan Blaney, and Brad Keselowski were vying for first place when Bubba Wallace edged past, stealing second. Unfortunately for Wallace, the expert maneuver wasn’t quite enough, and he finished about three feet short of Cindric at the finish line.
The 0.036-second loss marked Bubba Wallace’s second time as runner-up in the Daytona 500. Now, with 40 people driving aggressively at 200 miles per hour, there’s bound to be some road rage – times a thousand. So it’s no surprise that things can get rather heated between racers, even after the helmets are off.
Bubba Wallace, however, was nothing but smiles after The Great American Race, embracing Austin Cindric in celebration of his victory. After a few hours (and a few beers), though, Bubba’s geniality began to crack. He posted to his Twitter account, “Should’ve coliseum’d Austin Cindric’s ass.”
Wallace is, of course, referring to the qualifying race that took place in the L.A. Coliseum during NASCAR’s Clash earlier this month. Though the race was won by Joey Logano, Wallace successfully spun Cindric out in the closing laps.
There’s no question that Bubba Wallace is genuinely disappointed about his loss in Daytona. However, the tweet appears to be a light-hearted poke at the reigning champion rather than a malicious jab.
Bubba Wallace Addresses Daytona 500 Defeat
The (frankly, hilarious) string of drunken tweets from Bubba Wallace last night wasn’t the only commentary he made on the devastating defeat. The loss followed a strong performance from Wallace, in which he managed to avoid multiple crashes that put a number of other drivers out of commission. But second place just wasn’t the goal for Wallace, and the driver still took a moment to rest his head against his vehicle after the race in disappointment.
After the race, Wallace gave his thoughts on his performance. “I didn’t have a fighting chance the first time in 2018,” Wallace recalled. “This one, being that close, it’s just like a gut punch. Going from all the confidence in the world to literally having it ripped out from underneath you is a really s— feeling.”
Bubba Wallace might be shattered by the loss, but The Director of Competition for 23XI Racing, Michael Wheeler, couldn’t disagree more. “I think Bubba has a lot of confidence in the speedways. I think him and Freddie [Kraft, spotter] did a really good job. Hearing them work and learn and improve and be a top-tier group. It really shows to be pretty good. So, proud of that effort and hopefully keep going with that.”
Despite his disappointment and anger, Bubba Wallace continues to push forward. “You know, we succeeded. We succeeded on all levels, but we failed at the same time,” Wallace said. “So, going through that, trying to ride that, is super tough. Maybe two days, maybe three and probably a freaking week, I’ll get over this. But California is Sunday. That’s the one thing that people ask me about: ‘What motivates you?’ Having another chance next week to go back to Victory Lane.”