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Conceited Bubba Wallace Unleashes Veiled Dig at Kyle Busch’s Blatant Antics at Atlanta’s Wreckfest

Published 02/29/2024, 11:20 PM EST

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Kyle Busch nearly scored a double win at the Atlanta Motor Speedway, kind of like finding himself in a scene from that 1973 Stealer Wheel hit. He snagged third place, getting caught in a tight spot between Daniel Suarez and Ryan Blaney. But before that, after landing a P5 finish in Stage 1, Busch got slapped with a pit road speeding ticket in Stage 2, which knocked him back to P24. However, luck was on his side.

With 85 laps remaining, Busch was fighting for the free pass. But while doing so, he tangled with Kaz Grala in Turn 1, which led to a caution period. And that got him back in the line on the lead lap. On the other hand, Bubba Wallace, who was also a lap down, won the Lucky Dog spot fair and square. In light of this, Wallace, known for being vocal, took a veiled dig at Busch after the race.

Kyle Busch’s ‘throw caution to the wind’ move garnered Bubba Wallace’s sass

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After the tangle with Grala, the Las Vegas native clawed his way back to the front, briefly leading on Lap 233 before 2023 champion Ryan Blaney zoomed past him the next lap. After a grueling 3 hours, 38 minutes, and 40 seconds, Busch was on the verge of clinching his 64th Cup win but missed the top spot by a hair’s breadth of 0.007 seconds, trailing behind Daniel Suárez and Ryan Blaney at the finish line.

On the flip side, during a round of green-flag pit stops, Bubba Wallace and several others got dinged for speeding in the pit lane, particularly at the tricky transition from 90 MPH to 45 MPH zones. With only a lap’s worth of pit entry practice and another for qualifying before the Ambetter Health 400 kicked off when teams were walking on a tightrope, Bubba Wallace found himself a lap down. 

Citing the same, Bubba Wallace shared a video a NASCAR fan posted, showing his slick moves to get into the free pass position at the Atlanta Motor Speedway. But Wallace didn’t just share it. He threw in a cheeky comment, “😤 💪🏾 didn’t have to cause the caution to get mine back 🤓,” poking fun at Kyle Busch’s way of snagging a free pass through a caution.

As of now, Wallace is the only racer kicking off the season with two straight top-five finishes. Heading into the race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway next week, he is sitting pretty comfortably in 4th in the points standings. “We’re starting out on a good foot, but this stuff can change so fast. Sometimes you’re the bat, and sometimes you’re the ball. So we gotta keep being the bat,” he mentioned. 

Talking about his stellar start to the season, Bubba Wallace tipped his hat to his spotter, Freddie Kraft, for playing a pivotal role in their success.

#23 credits his spotter for his consecutive top-5s

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Bubba Wallace wrapped up his 2023 Cup Series with an all-time high finish of 10th place. Kicking off 2024, he’s found himself in the thick of chaos at Daytona and Atlanta but still managed to cruise into 5th place both times. With Las Vegas on the horizon, he’s got his sights set on keeping the good times rolling.

Scoring top-five finishes on the wild rides that are Daytona and Atlanta is no small feat. Bubba Wallace opened up on social media about the mental marathon these races put him through and how stoked he was about his team’s performance. The race in Atlanta, packed with cautions, really did a number on him mentally. That’s when his spotter stepped up big time.

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The 23XI driver further wrote, You have to be ON from start to finish. Restarts at 1.5 miles is a lot like this..but that’s 2-3 laps. Not 460. Proud of this 23 team. I set us back today, but nothing we haven’t overcome before. There is something special with this group this year!” While talking to PRN journalists, he said, “The racing was very intense, [but] it’s the mental side. Are we gonna crash? Am I making the right move? Every corner. Every straightaway. Every lap. It’s a lot. I am mentally drained just from that.”

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After spending last season in a constant battle just to make the playoffs, if Bubba Wallace keeps pushing the pace like he has been in 2024, the opportunity to grab a win seems like it’s just around the corner.

Bubba Wallace Concerned of the “Mental Toll” as He Continues With Another Top-5 Finish

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Written by:

Neha Dwivedi

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Neha Dwivedi is a NASCAR Writer at EssentiallySports. As a journalist, she religiously believes in the power of research, which allows her readers to dive deep into her stories and experience the detailed nuances of the sport like never before. Being proficient with Core Sport and Live Event Coverage, she has written multiple copies on the top entities of Stock Car Racing, like Denny Hamlin, Chase Elliott, and Tony Stewart.
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Edited by:

Shivali Nathta