Kyle Petty: Bubba Wallace should have been suspended for rest of year
NBC Sports analyst Kyle Petty says that Bubba Wallace should have been suspended the rest of the season for intentionally wrecking Kyle Larson and what Wallace did after the incident.
Petty made his comments on Wednesday’s “MotorMouths” show on Peacock.
NASCAR suspended Wallace one race for intentionally wrecking Larson. NASCAR did not penalize Wallace for exiting his car before a safety worker arrived or for walking down the track as cars went by to reach Larson before shoving Larson multiple times. Wallace issued an apology on social media Monday.
“He should have been suspended for the rest of the year. Rest of the year,” Petty said of Wallace.
“He drives for Denny Hamlin, who has been vocal about safety. His teammate (Kurt Busch), the only reason he’s in the 45 car is his teammate’s career was all but ended because of an accident in this car that the drivers have vocalized that it needs to be safer. He turns a guy in the right rear into the outside wall intentionally. Steering brake? That’s laughable.
“Turns a guy into the outside wall, then walks across the race track. First, you intentionally wreck somebody. That’s a suspension. He’s walking across the race track and cars are going by him on both sides. That’s not safe. That should be another suspension.
“Physically confronts a driver, shoves him. That’s a physical confrontation. If I do that on the sidewalk, I’m in handcuffs somewhere. So, he physically confronts this driver, shoves an official, doesn’t get in an ambulance, walks back to the pits, and then ... tells a fib. … The lesson should be the rest of the year, just the rest of the year. That’s just me.
“My man Matt Kenseth, who didn’t speak to me for almost a year after his accident with Joey Logano (at Martinsville in 2015) got two races, so you can turn a guy right side, driver side into the wall at 180 miles an hour, and you get one (race).”
Petty also questioned Wallace getting a one-race suspension when NASCAR announced on the same day that Kyle Busch’s crew chief and two pit crew members would miss the next four races because a wheel came off Busch’s car at Las Vegas.
“It’s OK to spin a guy and knock him into the wall and you only get one (race),” Petty said. “The optics of that for NASCAR … are not good. They’re just not good.”
Petty also said in comparing the four-race suspension to members of Kyle Busch’s team for the loose wheel and the one-race suspension Wallace received for intentionally wrecking Larson: “They’d didn’t leave that wheel off intentionally. They didn’t. … What did he was intentional.
“He can say the steering broke, but he never lifted off the accelerator at the same time he drove back down the race track. This was an unprofessional move.
“What we saw out of Kyle Larson was a champion and a professional reaction to the situation, the way he backed away from Bubba. … and the things he had to say.
“What bothered me is, I have driven race cars and to get hooked in the right rear, it is so freaking intentional. You have no recourse, no chance to recover. At that point in time, Kyle Larson is along for the ride. The way the car spun, the way it hit (Christopher Bell’s) car, it goes driver side in.
“You’ve seen Kurt Busch and we’ve seen Alex Bowman, they backed in and they’re not here right now. They’re not driving because of concussion. This could have been the season-ending, if not a career-ending, accident for him.”