Bubba Wallace Explains the Increased Importance of Simulations While Preparing for NASCAR Races

Published 03/01/2021, 11:00 AM EST
SONOMA, CA – JUNE 21: Bubba Wallace (43), driver of the World Wide Technology Chevrolet during Fridays Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series practice for the Toyota/Save Mart 350, at Sonoma Raceway in Sonoma, CA (Photo by Samuel Stringer/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)


NASCAR, much like other sports, has had to undertake measures to restrict in-person physical contact as much as possible amid the troubles of the Coronavirus pandemic.

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They have now disbanded testing, practice sessions, and qualifying for a lot of the races to curb the associated risks. Therefore, in such times, racing simulators have become a prized tool for these drivers.
Speaking to a podcast, Bubba Wallace illuminated on what the simulator contributes to in the modern day and age of NASCAR racing.

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Wallace said, “Well, it’s 95% simulation, we don’t practice anymore.” He continued, “Now with COVID, testing is out, and now with the schedules, we’re just showing up and racing.
“And so no, it’s gone all onto simulation and I’m on a new schedule with the Toyota being a part of the TRD family. You know, being up at the simulator every Wednesday now for a couple hours or few hours a week.”

Simulators give you a general idea of what to expect, said Bubba Wallace

“Doing that stuff, figuring out what we need, figuring out what helped us this weekend. Then implement that in the next weekend and get a feel for.”
Given the schedule of the Cup Series races over the next few weeks, drivers have just about enough time to retrospect on their mistakes. Following some time on the simulator, they are then required to get going the following Sunday for the main event.
“You know it’s not a hundred percent true feel, but it still gives you a general idea of what to expect when you unload. And it gives the engineers some data to look at to get that much closer,” concluded Wallace.
Feb 21, 2021; Daytona Beach, Florida, USA; NASCAR Cup Series driver Bubba Wallace (23) and NASCAR Cup Series driver Daniel Suarez (99) during the O’Reilly Auto Parts 253 at Daytona International Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Wallace did not enjoy a great race at the Homestead-Miami Speedway

Three races in, and 23XI Racing have shown signs of speed and reliability, but not good results. The No.23 Toyota Camry could only cross the line to finish 22nd, having initially started in 19 place.

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Wallace ran most of the 267-laps in the bottom half positions and lacked pace relative to the drivers in and around him. He attempted to gain points in both stages, but could only muster up a best result of 13th in Stage 2.
FORT WORTH, TEXAS – NOVEMBER 02: Bubba Wallace, driver of the #43 Covert Auto Group Chevrolet, walks on the grid during the Salute to Veterans Qualifying Day Fueled by The Texas Lottery for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Therefore, the 23XI Racing driver will go back to the drawing room and strategize where things are going wrong. With some simulator work and meetings with engineers, Wallace will hope to bounce back stronger in the upcoming Cup races.

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Bhargav Gopal

927 articles

Hailing from Bengaluru, Bhargav is an F1 and NASCAR author for EssentiallySports. He is a huge fan of Max Verstappen and Red Bull Racing. Bhargav also has an MBA in Sports Management from the Symbiosis School of Sports Sciences, Pune.

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