NASCAR on Tuesday announced that Mobile native Bubba Wallace had been suspended for one race after he intentionally crashed Kyle Larson in Sunday's Las Vegas race.
In 2020, Wallace was part of a controversy in which he and his team alleged he had been targeted with a noose in his garage at Talladega after he had been outspoken over racial issues.
Then-U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Alabama Jay Town investigated the allegations and concluded there was no federal crime because the garage rope had been there since 2019.
On Sunday, Wallace ran Larson's car into the wall in retaliation to an aggressive maneuver Larson made earlier. After exiting the wrecked car, Wallace walked over to where Larson was getting out of his vehicle and shoved Larson, who refused to engage in fighting, multiple times.
Bubba Wallace shows his frustration with Kyle Larson after the accident that takes each of them out of the race:— Always Race Day (@AlwaysRaceDay) October 16, 2022
🎥 @NASCARonNBC pic.twitter.com/Fg9im6iEAp
After the incident, Wallace claimed that the steering on his car broke and that Larson just happened to be there.
In announcing his suspension, NASCAR called Wallace's actions "dangerous."
Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR’s chief operating officer, said, "Our actions are really specific to what took place on the race track. And when we look at how that incident occurred, in our minds, really a dangerous act. We thought that was intentional and put other competitors at risk. And as we look at the sport and where we are today and where we want to draw that line going forward, we thought that definitely crossed the line and that’s what we focused on in terms of making this call.”
Wallace's team announced it would accept the one-race suspension rather than appeal the decision.
23XI’s official statement on the NASCAR Las Vegas Penalty. pic.twitter.com/Pdopqtae1e— 23XI Racing (@23XIRacing) October 18, 2022
Wallace is the first NASCAR driver suspended for a race since Matt Kenseth in 2015, who was suspended for two races for intentionally crashing Joey Logano.
To connect with the author of this story, or to comment, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Don't miss out! Subscribe to our newsletter and get our top stories every weekday morning.