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Bubba Wallace: ‘I’ve got to stay in it mentally and deliver the best results’

Alan Gustafson explains why he and Chase Elliott are successful together, looks ahead to a repeat effort at Road America and answers listener questions.

ELKHART LAKE, Wis. — Bubba Wallace admits he has to “manage” his passion after he lashed out at crew chief Bootie Barker on the radio last weekend at Nashville Superspeedway when a loose wheel cost him a lap.

“I’ve got to rebound,” Wallace said Saturday morning at Road America. “I’ve got to stay in it mentally and deliver the best results.”

Wallace had a fast car last weekend at Nashville Superspeedway and saw his chances of a strong finish dim when he had a loose wheel in the second stage. Told to stop, he was hit from behind. By the time he returned to pit road and the matter was resolved, Wallace was a lap down.

Shortly after returning to the track, Wallace unleashed his frustration on the radio.

“Everything is good right now,” Barker said on the radio. “Obviously, we are a lap down. I apologize for that.”

Wallace responded: “Leave me the … alone, dude. Don’t talk to me the whole … entire race.”

Barker said: “I am, and we’re not out of it. Keep doing what you’re doing and we’ll be just fine. I know you are pissed and you deserve to be.”

Asked if it was acceptable how he spoke to Barker on the radio last week, Wallace said: “In the heat of the battle, you talk to your team, they understand. Talked to Bootie. He understands. He understands the frustration. That’s the biggest thing.”

Wallace has had fast cars this season only to see pit road mistakes or penalties prevent him from having a chance to win and earn a playoff spot. He is 24th in points entering Sunday’s race at Road America (3 p.m. ET on USA Network). Nine races remain in the regular season.

“Want to win,” Wallace said. “Need to win. Got to win. Had the team capable of winning. The car is capable of winning. So that just creates passion. With passion comes frustration. Just got to manage it.”

So how does he handle his frustrations in the future?

“Just don’t key up,” Wallace said of the radio. “Simple as that.”

Wallace said he has not lost confidence in his 23XI Racing team.

“I have the confidence more than ever, especially with the team that I’m with and the people that are on the team and what we’re able to do,” he said. “Showing up and being fast right off the truck last weekend was a huge confidence boost for all of us.”