Bubba Wallace shoves Kyle Larson after accident
LAS VEGAS — Bubba Wallace repeatedly shoved Kyle Larson after their crash in Sunday’s Cup race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway but denied he retaliated on the track.
Wallace was side-by-side with Kevin Harvick when Kyle Larson dived under both. Harvick backed out and Larson came up the track and forced Wallace into the wall on Lap 95.
Wallace’s car came down the track and hooked Larson in the right rear on the frontstretch, sending both into the wall. Their incident collected playoff driver Christopher Bell, ending his race with a 34th-place finish. After the accident, Wallace walked to Larson and repeatedly shoved Larson before walking away. NASCAR did not call Wallace to the hauler but will be reviewing the entire incident.
NBC Sports’ Marty Snider read a comment to Wallace from Larson’s crew chief Cliff Daniels that accused Wallace of retaliating against Larson. Wallace replaced: “Cliff is smart enough to know how easy these cars breaks. When you get shoved into the fence like deliberately like he did, trying to force me to lift, the steering was gone.
“Hate it. Hate it for my team. … Larson wanted to make it a three-wide dive bomb. Never cleared me. I don’t lift. I know I’m kind of new running up front, but I don’t lift. Wasn’t even in a spot to lift, and he never lifted either and now we’re junk. Just a piss-poor move on his execution.”
Later, Wallace was asked by the media outside the care center if he retaliated against Larson. Wallace said: “Just racing, right. Just have to do better, be better.”
After exiting the infield care center, Larson told Snider: “I obviously made an aggressive move into (Turn)n 3 and got in low and got loose and chased it up a bit. He got to my right front and it got him tight and into the wall.
“I knew he was going to retaliate. He had a reason to be mad. His race wasn’t over until he retaliated. It is what it is. Just aggression turned into frustration and he retaliated.”
Larson later was asked by the media if he was surprised by Wallace’s physical response.
“I would rather have him done that rather than just tear up both of our cars.”
Larson admitted that Wallace had reason to be upset with him.
“I could have followed either of them into (Turn) 3 and not made a move, but I thought I had a big enough move off (Turn) 2 that I could, hopefully, clear both of them in (Turns) 3 and 4 and I wasn’t able to. ... I was trying to leave him room and ultimately just didn’t give him enough room as I was trying to keep my car in control and got him in the wall. Yes, he had a reason to be upset.”
Asked if safety workers should have stepped in after Wallace began shoving him, Larson said: “It’s fine. I wasn’t going to fight back, so I think it would just look bad on his part.
“I’ve never been close to a fight in my life. I’m not a fighter.”
Bell leaves Las Vegas last in the playoff standings with two races left in the Round of 8.
“The good thing is I feel better about winning one of those two races than I did winning the Roval,” Bell said. “We’ve just had really, really strong Camrys – really all year long. We will see if we can go pull another rabbit out of the hat.”
Asked about the incident between Wallace and Larson, Bell said: “Bubba got run into the wall and then he retaliated on (Kyle Larson) and wiped us out.”