NASCAR’s Bubba Wallace Receives Heavy Boos at Martinsville Upon Return from Suspension: WATCH

by Dustin Schutte
Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images

NASCAR fans didn’t exactly give Bubba Wallace a warm welcome in his return from suspension on Sunday. The 29-year-old was greeted with loud boos during driver introductions at Martinsville.

Wallace returned to the racetrack on Sunday after serving a one-race suspension. NASCAR handed him the punishment for intentionally wrecking Kyle Larson at Las Vegas two weeks ago.

The Athletic’s Jeff Gluck captured the crowd’s reaction when Wallace was introduced before Sunday’s race at Martinsville. Not many seemed to be fans of his antics a few weeks ago at Las Vegas.

Not only did Wallace make contact with Larson’s right rear, spinning him out and ending his race, he also confronted the driver following the accident. Wallace shoved Larson multiple times before leaving the scene.

Many thought NASCAR should’ve handed down a more severe punishment for Wallace’s actions. The league didn’t reconsider further penalties after announcing the suspension.

Though Wallace wasn’t too popular at Martinsville, he still enjoyed a strong performance. He finished in eighth place after starting the race in the 24th spot.

Bubba Wallace Says He’s “Learned His Lesson”

After serving his one-race suspension, Bubba Wallace said he’s learned his lesson. However, he does want to see NASCAR be consistent with punishments when it comes to similar actions.

“I totally accept the penalty and the repercussions that came from my actions,” Wallace said. “I talked to O’Donnell and I talked to Phelps and I said, hey, I’m good with being the example if we can keep this consistent moving forward. Because it’s happened multiple times this year. And it’s something that may still continue to happen, you know, for other drivers down the road.

“I’ve definitely learned my lesson. But we have to be consistent with this, no matter if it’s here at Martinsville or it’s in Daytona or Talladega. We gotta keep it consistent across all the boards and all the series. So that was the conversation, it was a good conversation.”

Wallace has produced 11 top-10 finishes during the 2022 NASCAR season. His lone win of the year came at Kansas back in September.