NASCAR: Bubba Wallace Reveals He Had a ‘Great Conversation’ With Kyle Larson This Week After Altercation

by Caitlin Berard
(Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Two weeks ago, NASCAR drivers Bubba Wallace and Kyle Larson were competing in the South Point 400 Cup Series race when a heated altercation broke out. The first domino fell when Larson bumped Wallace into the wall on Turn 4. Wallace then deliberately spun Larson in a “dangerous act” of retaliation.

Following the tussle on the track, the pair met in a shoving match near Larson’s No. 5 car. Thankfully, neither man was seriously injured in either incident. Bubba Wallace‘s punishment, however, was unsurprisingly severe.

NASCAR handed down a one-week suspension, barring Wallace from the Cup Series race at the Homestead-Miami Speedway, marking the first suspension for an on-track incident since 2015.

The following day, Bubba Wallace apologized for his actions in a social media post. And though he didn’t specifically apologize to Kyle Larson in the statement, it seems he and his fellow driver have worked things out behind the scenes.

“For the record, I have talked to [Kyle] Larson. We had a great conversation this week,” Wallace explained in a presser. “And I think the best thing for us is we both understood where our frustrations were and moving forward on how we both can handle those situations better.”

NASCAR Driver Bubba Wallace Says He Learned His Lesson

Returning for practice ahead of Sunday’s 500-lap Cup Series race at Martinsville Speedway, Bubba Wallace has said that he understands the punishment and learned from his mistakes.

“I totally accept the penalty and the repercussions that came from my actions,” he said. “I’m good with being the example if we can keep this consistent moving forward.”

“It’s happened multiple times this year,” Wallace continued. “And it’s something that may continue to happen. … I definitely learned my lesson, but we need to be consistent with this.”

For Bubba Wallace, watching the Homestead-Miami Speedway race from the sidelines was too brutal an experience to repeat. “Just sitting out and not being a part of your normal routine was the toughest thing,” he explained.

“I put myself in a bad light,” he said. “I put our team in a bad light, our sponsors. It’s just something that I’m not proud of. … You’re not allowed to make that mistake again.”

Denny Hamlin, co-owner of 23XI Racing said that NASCAR went “above and beyond” in punishing his driver Bubba Wallace but that he and Michael Jordan agreed with their decision. He gave no further details on any actions taken by the team against the heated driver.

“It’s a bad look for us,” Hamlin said. “He understands that. We’ve all done tough stuff in our career that has defined us. It’s how [he] returns from it that will define him.”