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Bubba Wallace says he’s learned his lesson after sitting out one race

Bubba Wallace shares what he learned from his suspension, describing it as a "very humbling moment," and explains why he won't overreact to a similar situation in the future after a "great conversation" with Kyle Larson.

MARTINSVILLE, Va. — Bubba Wallace said he’s learned his lesson after being suspended one race for wrecking Kyle Larson at Texas, but said that series officials need to be consistent in addressing such matters.

Wallace spoke to reporters Saturday at Martinsville Speedway.

“I totally accepted the penalty and the repercussions that came from my actions,” Wallace said. “I talked to (NASCAR executive Steve) O’Donnell and I talked to (NASCAR President Steve) Phelps and I said, ‘Hey, I’m good with being the example. If we can keep this consistent moving forward because it’s happened multiple times this year and it’s something that may still continue to happen for other drivers down the road.’ I definitely learned my lesson. But we have to be consistent, no matter if it’s here at Martinsville or if it’s at Daytona or Talladega. We’ve got to keep it consistent across all the boards, across the all the series. It was a good conversation.”

Wallace sat out last weekend’s race at Homestead-Miami Speedway. John Hunter Nemechek drove for him in that race.

Wallace said sitting out “was tough. … I hated not being in that race. That was one of those races that was circled on the schedule. The Toyotas have been really strong on the mile-and-a-half side, I really love running Homestead. I was legit bummed I wasn’t racing but I had to put that aside and still help the team go out and grow and continue to gain speed with those two drivers (Ty Gibbs and Nemechek).”

Wallace was upset that a move by Larson forced Wallace into the wall at Texas. Wallace then hooked Larson in the right rear, sending both cars into the wall. Larson’s car hit Christopher Bell’s car. After the incident, Wallace exited his car before safety crews arrived and walked along the track to Larson’s car and repeatedly shoved Larson.

Wallace said he and Larson talked this week.
“We had a great conversation this week,” Wallace said. “I think the best thing for us is we both understood where our frustrations were and moving forward and how we both can handle those situations better.”

Larson agreed with what Wallace said.

“I thought it went really well,” Larson said. “I think we both moved on from it really fast. It was good to have a talk and and just kind of talk over the frustrations and mistakes on both of our parts and kind of move on and forget about it and get on to racing. I feel like we race really well together in the past. I hope I don’t make any more mistakes and we continue to race good.”

Asked about what he’s learned after sitting out, Wallace said: “I got to think before you do. … Going back and looking from a 10,000-foot view definitely could have handled everything way different. I put myself in a bad light, I put our team in a bad light, our sponsors. It’s just something that I’m not proud of. Moving on, moving forward, you’re not allowed to make that mistake.”
Asked about his conversations with team 23XI Racing co-owners Denny Hamlin and Michael Jordan, Wallace said: “They were understanding of the heat-of-the-moment type things, but they were very adamant on how we need to handle those five seconds later, like I said earlier, think before you do. That was the biggest thing, but they still support me and we’re here and just going to go out and continue to build this team.”