NASCAR Fans Sound Off After Bubba Wallace Fails to Finish at Circuit of the Americas Race

by Amy Myers
(Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

NASCAR and Bubba Wallace fans are losing their minds after watching front-left tire fly off of his car as he rounded the track during the 46th lap of the Circuit of the America’s (COTA) race in Austin, Texas.

The No. 23 Leidos Toyota Camry driver was heading into turn 16 when a lugnut popped loose. Seconds later, Bubba Wallace’s wheel followed suit, careening down the NASCAR track several yards away. According to Bob Pockrass’s perspective, the cause of the chaos was an improperly-installed wheel from the pit crew. Watch the wheel pop off below:

Prior to the loose wheel, Bubba Wallace a Stage Point by finishing 10th in Stage 2 earlier in the NASCAR race. At the time of the incident, the driver was running outside the top-20. As Pockrass predicted, the wheel pop-off will result in a four-race suspension for Wallace’s crew chief Bootie Barker, front tire changer Michael Louria and jackman Caleb Dirks.

NASCAR Fans React to Bubba Wallace’s Unfortunate Tire Incident at COTA

Since the incident, NASCAR fans have voiced their opinions on the matter, expressing their frustrations against Wallace’s crew.

“Working with Bubba Wallace is different than anyone else. You f—k up on his car, you fuel the fire of people that threaten him every week. I’m SO TIRED of them making him look bad. He can’t do a damn thing if he spends one whole stage with a loose wheel & the next, it falls off,” one irritated NASCAR watcher wrote.

The same fan continued in a separate tweet, “Is it fair that there’s extra pressure because of who the driver is? No, it’s not. But because of who he is, this team has more money than they know what to do with. He brings in the sponsors. Now use that money to support him. Hire someone that can put a f—ing tire on a car.”

Another agreed, “And the #23 car is done. @BubbaWallace could tell early on that something was wrong with the left rear. It had to do with the pin(s). Like Bubba said, just one week it would be nice for it to all just work. @23XIRacing.”

Meanwhile, other NASCAR fans were a bit more sympathetic to Bubba Wallace’s crew but realized that ultimately, the mistake meant one more obstacle for the driver to overcome.

“I realize it’s a team and they’re all under pressure but stuff like that kills me. He’s driving his ass off and stupid things derail it. I hate it for him and the team,” they wrote.

One watcher even believed that the suspension will be a positive experience for the crew chief.

“Toyotas were having issues today Bootie will get some time off from the top of the pit at least, its not like he cant relay info,” the user offered.