A week later, comments from Bubba Wallace sparked the fine; NASCAR explains; Kyle Larson reacts to the penalty
At Texas Motor Speedway, Bubba Wallace picked up a flat tire.
He then spun into the corner, NASCAR didn’t bite on a caution. As Wallace straightened it out, he then spun once more. This time he made light contact with the inside wall and NASCAR decided to throw the caution.
Kyle Larson had pitted just before the caution. He was now trapped a lap down as a result. Larson knocked officials after the race.
Intentional spins are a violation of the NASCAR rule book. Officials reviewed the situation mid-race, they elected not to penalize Bubba Wallace.
On Friday afternoon Wallace stated that he wasn’t worried, “Until they do anything, no. I’m not the only one to do it. I’m racing for myself. Not for Larson. Not for Chevrolet at that moment. For myself and going multiple laps down.”
Those comments are what did him in. After the admission of guilt, NASCAR changed their verdict on the situation…
NASCAR fines Bubba Wallace $50,000 for intentional spin
On Saturday afternoon, NASCAR elected to hand out a penalty to Bubba Wallace. They fined him $50,000 and docked him 50 points.
He was hit with a whole book of violations: Section 12.1.a (General Procedures), Section 12.8 (NASCAR Member Conduct), Section 12.8.1 (Member Conduct Guidelines) as well as Section 10.8 (In-Race Violations).
NASCAR Rule Book – Section 10.8 notes, “intentionally causing or attempt to cause a caution period.”
NASCAR Rule Book – Section 12.1.a notes, “NASCAR membership is a privilege. With that privilege comes certain benefits, responsibilities and obligations. Correct and proper conduct, both on and off the race track, is part of a Member’s responsibilities.”
“A Member’s actions can reflect upon the sport as a whole and on other NASCAR Members. Ideally, NASCAR Members are role models for the many fans who follow this sport, regardless of the type of license a Member may hold, or the specific Series in which a Member may participate.”
“Therefore, NASCAR views a Member’s conduct, both on and off the race track, which might constitute a behavioral Rules violation under this Rule Book with great importance,” section 12.1 concludes.
Scott Miller explains penalty to Bubba Wallace
“There can be a lot of accusations, but to be completely positive that’s what happened only happened when he raised his hand and said ‘I did it,’ ” Scott Miller said on Saturday.
“That was full admission of something that has been abuzz in the garage and in the media.”
“I would dispute that the data clearly shows it,” Miller said. “We don’t have a lot of data comparison of a guy trying to drive a car with a flat tire.”
“So we’ve looked at all that. We don’t really feel like it’s as straightforward as some of the others do as far as the data showing definitively that he did it on purpose.
“We’ve all watched the cars drive down the straightaway with a flat tire weaving all over the place. So for us, to make a definitive call that a guy spun out on purpose when he can barely keep his car going straight is a big call.”
“And it’s a judgment call. And it’s a call that we would like to not have to be able to make. So hopefully they can know the possibility of this happening is out there if it’s very blatant and that they don’t do it,” Miller concluded.
Richard Petty Motorsports comments on the penalty
“Our team met with NASCAR officials this morning to discuss Darrell “Bubba” Wallace Jr.’s post-practice comments on Friday, November 8, concerning an on-track incident which occurred at the Texas Motor Speedway,” Philippe Lopez, Richard Petty Motorsports director of competition, said.
“We fully understand NASCAR’s position and expectations of its competitors. NASCAR has a difficult job officiating race events and we do not need to make the task more challenging.”
“Wallace will not appeal the penalty, and will direct his immediate focus to this weekend’s event at the ISM Raceway,” Lopez concluded.
Kyle Larson reacts to the penalty on Bubba Wallace
Yeah, that was really strong, probably stronger than I thought it might be,” Kyle Larson said Saturday via NASCAR America.
“You hate to see NASCAR be put into a spot to make a call like that. But we’re told to give 100 percent and I don’t know if intentionally bringing out a caution is 100 percent.
“I say that, I’ve done it, we’ve all done it. Like Bubba mentioned, he’s racing for himself out there. I understand. It’s not like I’m mad at Bubba Wallace, I’m just mad that an intentional spin caused a caution which affected my race and others. There was other guys that had a good shot at a win or good finish that were affected by it.”
“It definitely sends a message to us drivers that if you do it, this is what could happen.”
“I think we all noticed that and probably with my luck, I’ll get a flat and have to make that decision. NASCAR is always in a tough spot on things like that.”
“If the race plays out the way it should have, I would have had obviously a better chance to win,” Larson said. “At the time, I knew I didn’t need Harvick to have a good day or win.
”So when the caution came out and I did the wave around and looked up, Harvick is lined up third, I’m like ‘this is not good.’ It just went as badly as it probably could have for us.
“So that’s why I was so frustrated. It’s just everything that I didn’t need happen, happened,” Larson added.