Bubba Wallace: “The speed isn’t there, we can’t showcase it. But, the feeling is what we’re really working on.”
Bubba Wallace opened his first full-time Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season with a bang. A runner-up finish in the biggest race of the season catapulted Bubba Wallace to the Monday newspaper.
Since Daytona, the team has had a tough relationship with the results sheet. 32nd (Atlanta), 21st (Las Vegas), 28th (Phoenix) and 20th (California).
“Yeah, we’ve been struggling a little bit. But, it’s all of learning together,” Bubba Wallace said from the Martinsville Speedway media center.
“Looking back on last year, when I jumped in they already had some mojo rolling. Right now, with the new alliance with RCR, new manufacture with Chevrolet — We’re just figuring things out.”
“We’re trying certain things in practice and throughout the race that we know will work and some that won’t work.”
“There’s nothing to hang our heads about. We all know that we need to be running better than what we have been. It was good to get a top 20 this past weekend in California.”
“Phoenix was probably our best race. Until we hit pit road. We just weren’t clickin’ on 8 cylinders there. That took us out of contention. If you had a redo, Phoenix would have been really good to us, I believe.”
“It’s just a learning curve. For me, to go to all these tracks. I’m not fully learning the whole race track until the end of the first, second stage [or] the end of the race.”
“Being able to adapt a little bit quicker is what I need to work on.”
Bubba Wallace is new to the NASCAR Cup Series. However, he has experience at Martinsville Speedway. In 2014, Bubba Wallace ran a single truck race. That race was at Martinsville and he went to victory lane.
In practice this weekend, he insisted that the team only worked on long run pace.
“I’m not out there trying to bust a good lap, every lap. I’m just trying to get into a good rhythm. We’re missing that, we’re inconsistent in certain parts of the corner.”
Martinsville is unique in many ways. One of those ways is that it provides an opportunity for the little teams to shine. The thousandths of an inch testing in regards to aerodynamics aren’t important. Good equipment is still important, it just matters a little bit less. A good setup can carry a little team into the top 10.
“You’re not really aero dependent. It’s more mechanical. It’s more inside the race car, inside the seat there. I always have a good feeling coming in here. I think the confidence level’s up.”
“The speed isn’t there, we can’t showcase it. But, the feeling is what we’re really working on.”
This weekend, Bubba Wallace and Richard Petty Motorsports have brought the STP car to the track for the first time. It’s badass!
Bubba Wallace didn’t get a chance to qualifying his machine for the STP 500, due to the weather. The field has been set by points and the race will run today. Bubba Wallace will start 19th.