Bubba Wallace Revealed as a “Threat” to the Playoffs as Insider Makes Bold 1.5-Mile Claim

Published 09/29/2023, 5:01 PM EDT

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Bubba Wallace emerged as a force to be reckoned with this season. In his playoff debut, he charged into the round of 12, leaving doubters in his dust. Saturday marked a historic moment as he claimed pole position at Texas, and on Sunday, he led an astonishing 111 laps, silencing his critics. However, racing is fickle, and fate has a cruel sense of humor.

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A late restart proved to be his Achilles’ heel, and the green flag saw his reigns of the race lead slip away. He finished P3, and on came the questions. Disheartened but determined, Wallace now sets his sights on Talladega Superspeedway, where he once claimed his maiden victory in 2021. NASCAR insiders are rallying behind him, declaring him a formidable threat and urging contenders to beware, for Wallace was poised to reclaim victory lane and keep his championship dreams alive.

Rise, fall, and redemption: Bubba Wallace’s playoff odyssey

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As Wallace advanced into the Round of 12, his journey in the playoffs was nothing short of remarkable, especially considering his winless streak and limited playoff points. A victory would have been the ultimate insurance for his improbable playoff run. Yet, the cruel hand of fate intervened, and a less-than-ideal restart dashed his hopes. Wallace admitted post-race,

“I just choked. I had my worst restart. I hate it for my team. You have to go out there and fight for it and not give it away. I gave it away. This one is going to sting a little bit.”

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Amidst the escalating pressure and intensifying competition in the playoffs, one voice remains quietly —NASCAR pit reporter, Parker Kligerman. He sees a standout contender in Wallace, a driver who has displayed remarkable speed on 1.5-mile tracks, only to be hindered by unfortunate incidents.

I expect him to be a threat for sure this coming weekend at Talladega because of his superspeedway acumen. He’s won there before. He does a great job of getting to the front of these races and controlling the pack. 

WATCH THIS STORY: Bubba Wallace Exposes Boss Denny Hamlin’s Black Lie In Pocono Feud

“I think this is the driver and team that could get a win here, and I’m surprised they haven’t. I really think it’s just circumstances with the speed they’ve had to not have gotten this win already. So, I think that’s a race team for sure that in these next six races can find themselves in Victory Lane and possibly competing for a championship at Phoenix.”

With hopes that his moment of triumph is on the horizon, Wallace prepares to take on Talladega this weekend, he carries not only the weight of NASCAR experts but also the burden of disappointment from his boss.

Talladega quest amidst the boss’s frustration

In a recent episode of Actions Detrimental, 23XI co-owner Denny Hamlin openly shared his thoughts on a pivotal decision made by Wallace that ultimately signed off his chances at claiming the Texas victory. He couldn’t hide his frustration as he recalled the moment, saying,

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“I was watching the restart and I see Bubba choosing the outside, and like, ugh.” Hamlin’s discontent was palpable, and he elaborated on his disagreement with that strategic call.

He explained, “The bottom is the power position. It’s definitely the lane with the most grip through three and four on restarts especially.” In essence, he was convinced that starting on the inside was the key to success during these crucial moments in a race.

Hamlin’s critique revolved around the idea that giving someone else the ability to push you up the track by choosing the outside lane was a risky decision. While it might lead to temporarily securing the lead, the potential consequences of not being able to clear another driver on the straightaway and getting caught in a battle left the outcome uncertain.

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Now, he still finds himself among the four drivers with the lowest points and no wins, with only two races left in the Round of 12 – the upcoming challenge at Talladega and the subsequent showdown at the ROVAL. As Bubba vies for a repeat win, the championship dream remains alive, and the track awaits redemption.

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Written by:

Rashi Shetty

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Rashi Shetty is a NASCAR author at EssentiallySports. Her passion for the sport extends beyond the thrill of on-track racing, as she finds the behind-the-scenes aspects of car development and sportsmanship equally captivating. Her favorite motorsports moment of 2023 is the NASCAR Garage 56 entry at Le Mans.
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Edited by:

Nischal Kandpal

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