Video emerged Sunday afternoon showing hothead NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace touching an official who was trying to talk to him following Wallace’s violent outburst on another driver moments prior.
The incident with the official, which could compound the problems facing Wallace, came after Wallace got out of his car and physically attacked driver Kyle Larson after Larson gave him a slight bump on the track.
Larson’s nudge sent Wallace’s car up against the wall and Wallace appeared to intentionally retaliate by slamming his car against Larson’s car, sending both cars into a crash that ended both the race for both drivers.
NASCAR fan and NewsBusters Managing Editor Curtis Houck tweeted out a clip of the NASCAR official trying to get ahold of Wallace’s attention and trying to slow him down to talk to him following the attack.
Wallace threw the officials’ hand off of him and refused to stop and listen.
ICYMI — Here is the moment that Wallace put his hands on a #NASCAR official during his spat with Kyle Larson pic.twitter.com/IYagPL2o8g
— Curtis Houck (@CurtisHouck) October 17, 2022
Wallace’s violent outburst sparked calls for him to be suspended or face potential criminal charges as a result.
Larson responded to the incident by saying that Wallace’s aggression was not surprising.
“I obviously made an aggressive move into three and got in low and got loose and chased it up a bit,” Larson said. “And yeah, I mean, he got to my right front, and I got him tight into the wall and knew he was gonna retaliate. So, like I said, I mean, he had a reason to be mad, but his race wasn’t over until he retaliated. So it is what it is. Just, yeah, just aggression turned into frustration and he retaliated.”
When asked on camera if it was appropriate for Wallace to retaliate at that speed, Larson said no, as he pointed to the severity of injuries that can happen.
“I think with everything that’s been going on here lately with head injuries and all that, fractured ligaments and all that I don’t think it’s probably the right thing to do,” Larson said.
Larson did not act angry during the interview and seemed to have a lighter view of the incident, saying that most drivers have lost their cool and retaliated during races.
However, when Wallace was interviewed by the same person on camera, he took no responsibility for his actions and got snippy with the interviewer.
The interviewer pointed out that Cliff Daniels, one of the top NASCAR crew chiefs, said that Wallace’s actions amounted to retaliation and asked then asked Wallace if it was retaliation.
“Cliff is smart enough to know that how easy these cars break so when you get shoved into the fence, like deliberately like he did, trying to force me to lift, steering was gone,” Wallace claimed and then smirked, “he just so happened to be there.”
Wallace arrogantly claimed, “It was just a piss poor move on his execution.”
“When situations like this happen, Bubba, at this speed, is retaliation an acceptable thing?” the interviewer asked.
“Stop fishing,” Wallace snapped. “Stop fishing.”
“I’m not fishing. I’m just asking you,” the interviewer responded. “Let’s also talk about the message you wanted to send to Kyle by going up to him after the incident.”
“He knows,” Wallace said. “He knows that what he did was wrong. He wanted to question what I was doing. He never cleared me so just hate it for our team, our McDonald’s Toyota Camry was super solid.”
"I don't lift."
Hear from @BubbaWallace after his incident with Kyle Larson. #NASCAR pic.twitter.com/XUMPs2sRsf
— NASCAR on NBC (@NASCARonNBC) October 16, 2022