The NASCAR driver had an emotion moment before qualifying
Bubba Wallace opened his full-time NASCAR Cup Series career with a 2nd place finish in the Daytona 500 last year. But, the team has most struggled ever since.
Outside of that, he best finish is an 8th place run. That came at Texas Motor Speedway, 30+ races ago. For 2019, Bubba Wallace has a best finish of 17th which came at Martinsville Speedway.
Wallace was signed at a full-time driver for Richard Petty Motorsports for 2018 and has returned again this season. It was a huge break for the 25-year-old driver as he previously struggled to land a ride due to a lack of funding.
The pieces are in place to put him behind the wheel. The goal of any racing driver is to win and it’s hard to do that when you’re short of funding at the No. 43 operation.
Bubba Wallace comments on despression
“You try to be the best you can and sometimes it ain’t damn good enough,” Bubba Wallace said during a media availability ahead of qualifying.
In a quiet tone Wallace said he was fighting, “depression and everything with it.”
But, a race car is a high powered meditation device.
“I’ll be damned,” Wallace said quietly as his eyes hid under his low hanging hat bill, “It all goes away when you get behind the wheel. It’s 16 years of driving. It helps. But it’s tough.”
Bubba Wallace is in the best ride he’s ever been in. However, the team is also short on funding which can be frustrating for a driver. Last week at Talladega he noted that he was a realist and that the team realistically had, “Four shots to win.” Those four chances are at the four superspeedway races where the little times have a shot due to the rules package which creates pack racing.
“I’m on the verge of breaking down. And I am what I am,” Wallace said ahead of Kansas qualifying on Friday.
“It’s been a rough moment for a while. Just trying to do everything I can.”
This moment ahead of qualifying came a few days after a string of emotional tweets. Wallace:
But, it went upward from there. The quotes above came just ahead of qualifying at Kansas Speedway.
In the new qualifying format, the field is divided into two groups based on qualifying from the week prior. Drivers then draw at random to determine their order with each group.
After 19 cars had turned a lap in group 1, Bubba Wallace was quickest overall.
“That’s good for us. You kinda sorta get a gauge of where you’re going to run. Then hell, you surprise yourself sometimes,” Wallace told FOX Sports after his run.
“It’s definitely a shot in the arm, that I need personally. And our team needed. Heck of an effort.”
At the conclusion of group two, Bubba Wallace’s time hung on to hold inside the top-15. He’ll start from the 12th position.
That’s his third best starting position in his MENCS career. The exceptions are a top-10 start at Daytona in 2018 and a 10th place start at Texas Motor Speedway just five races ago.