Despite Winning Pole, Bubba Wallace Reveals His Biggest “Problem in Life”

Published 09/25/2023, 7:06 AM EDT

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In a heart-pounding turn, Bubba Wallace clinched the pole position in the NASCAR Cup Series qualifying at Texas Motor Speedway, leaving the crowd on the edge of their seats. Wallace’s No. 23 23XI Racing Toyota blazed around the 1.5-mile track at a mind-boggling speed of 188.337 mph, narrowly edging out local hero Chris Buescher by a mere .039 seconds. But Wallace revealed a surprising twist as he celebrated his first pole position of the season.

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After the Qualifying playoff race at Texas, Bubba Wallace found himself in the spotlight, having secured the pole position. He shared some candid insights when asked about his expectations for this achievement.

Overthinking in Life and on the Track

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During an interview following the qualifying playoff race at Texas, Bubba Wallace was asked if he had expected to secure the pole position. In response, Bubba Wallace admitted to struggling with overthinking and trying too hard during qualifying, both on the racetrack and in life. 

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“Was I expecting it? I don’t know. Like I said, qualifying – I tend to try too hard, and overthink things. That’s my problem in life. I just need to go out and do. That was a good surprise. I knew in practice. Our car felt a little different the first lap, but I was like there is a lot of capability in this car.” Wallace stated.

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He added, “We found some adjustments that were okay and some that helped, but I knew for qualifying that I really needed to step up because I knew the car was there. The rest speaks for itself – now it’s like, do I need to trust it more? It’s not about trusting the car or trusting the team, it’s just this race track.” 

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Bubba acknowledged that the track’s narrow lanes posed a challenge, and he needed to strike the right balance between pushing too hard and not pushing hard enough. Wallace emphasized that the payoff for securing the pole position was significant. Still, the subsequent rebuilding of the car meant they couldn’t replicate everything they had in their best car. So what really happened during the race?

Bubba Wallace Says He “Choked” Navigating the Texas Motor Speedway

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The anticipation was palpable as the final lap of qualifying unfolded. Bubba Wallace seized the pole position for the Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 400 with a dazzling display of skill. It was a moment of triumph for the 29-year-old, marking only his second career pole in NASCAR. 

But sadly, the #23 driver couldn’t convert his P1 grid spot into a victory lane visit. While he led 111 of the 267 laps, a crucial call during the race took away his potential win. With 6 laps to go, Bubba chose the outside lane, which may not have been the call.

“Third time I fooled myself starting on top. These guys gave me the right information,” Wallace said after the race, as per motorsport.com. “[Briscoe] was tight and he sent it off in there. Wasn’t going to stick, but that’s what he’s going to do.”

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After finishing third, he said, “Really needed a win there, and it was a good showing. I don’t know where that puts us. I don’t really care. But I know what I did, and I choked.”

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Written by:

Brahmi Dhaytadak

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Brahmi Dhaytadak is a NASCAR Writer at EssentiallySports. She combines her love for F1, Tennis, and NASCAR into electrifying prose that sets the hearts of her readers racing. Whether it was the finesse of Charles Leclerc's maneuvers around Monaco or the artistry of Roger Federer's racket, everything inspired Brahmi to venture into the field of sports journalism.
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Edited by:

Ranvijay Singh

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