“Looking for Chaos” – Dale Earnhardt Jr Raises Concern for Bubba Wallace as He Rules Out Half the Grid for Daytona

Published 08/26/2023, 10:55 AM EDT

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With the Cup Series extravaganza reaching its crescendo for an epic Superspeedway race at Daytona, the talks about the playoff 16 have once again taken precedence. While thoughts about NASCAR’s golden boy, Chase Elliott’s playoff chances are lingering in fans’ minds, 23XI Racing’s Bubba Wallace too has to make a decent mark to find a playoff berth.

Although Michael Jordan and Denny Hamlin’s driver is hanging by the thread, sneaking in the cutline, even the slightest mistake at the high-flowing 2.5-mile speedway will seal the deal for him.

And that’s precisely what NASCAR veteran, Dale Earnhardt Jr pointed out as he expressed a “weird feeling” about the upcoming race, predicting an unexpected finish.


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Dale Earnhardt Jr expresses his concerns at Daytona while Bubba Wallace looks to seal his first-ever playoff

For the young fans out there, there is a valid reason why the Daytona hosts NASCAR’s biggest race. The 2.5-mile Speedway is not just about who has the fastest car, but it’s more than just that. Though the speedway will favor the fastest driver, a slight error in the high-speed track will certainly end in a disaster for the whole field.

And NASCAR veteran Dale Jr believes just that. The JR Motorsports co-owner on his popular Dale Jr Download podcast revealed Denny Hamlin’s driver, Bubba Wallace’s chances given the #23’s speedway prowess.

He said, “I think Bubba (Wallace) is pretty confident because he does really well at Daytona and he knows how to stay out of trouble you know.” 

While the veteran gave the MJ’s driver the best chance to ace the high-speed speedway, Junior also opened up about this uneasy feeling he had. “But something’s giving me this weird vibe, man. That whatever, whoever wins at Daytona is going to be a non-winner, so then therefore it’s got to be Bubba if he gets in, right?” asked the 48-year-old to his co-host as he expressed his anxiety openly. 

With this, his co-host Mike Davis chimed in, “You’re looking for Chaos here?Dale Jr. solidified his point as he said, “I think it’ll be chaos.” 

READ MORE: Dale Earnhardt Jr’s Driver Reveals Chase Elliott-Factor Behind His First-Ever Daytona Win

Dale Earnhardt Jr snubs Chase Elliott’s playoff chances


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As we roll into another exciting NASCAR race week, the expectations and hype around the organization’s crown jewel race are sky high. From Chase Elliott’s hopelessness, to who will make the final playoff 16? NASCAR nation has a lot of questions lingering in their minds.


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To make matters worse, Dale Jr indirectly snubbed the HMS star’s playoff chances as he predicted a non-winner to ace the speedway. To the surprise of many, the veteran even named the 22-year-old sensation, Harrison Burton, to claim the win at Daytona, essentially putting out Elliott’s chances to make his 5th consecutive playoff.

“So I got this weird feeling man, it’s going to be this sort of you know, it’s going to be this weird non-winner, like a Harrison Burton like somebody like that,” said the 2-time Daytona winner. Furthermore, he anticipates a rather anti-climatic finish to the race.

He said, “I got this weird feeling like it aint going to be any of the current winners or anybody that, I think it’s going to be a wild, nasty, crazy race and we’re going to have you know it’s going to be the top 5 crossing the finish line at the end is going to be like a Rick Ware (Racing) car and Spire Motorsports, you know it’s going to be one of them races.” 


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WATCH THIS STORY: Dale Earnhardt Jr. expresses doubts about Chase Elliott’s contentious Watkins Glen race 

With the veteran of the game anticipating a chaotic race, and HMS stars looking to make a final stand, anything is possible at Daytona. What do you think? Let us in on your predictions down in the comments.


Written by:

Kishore R


One take at a time

Kishore is a NASCAR Writer at EssentiallySports. With a degree in engineering, Kishore's love for automobiles, particularly the roaring naturally-aspirated V8s, naturally led him to NASCAR. Kishore's writing is characterized by his intense passion for the sport, as well as his ability to conduct in-depth research and analysis.
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Edited by:

Ranvijay Singh