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Watch: Back in 2013 Mike Wallace Delivered a Masterclass in Sportsmanship With Lightning McQueen-Esque Gesture

Published 11/17/2023, 2:35 AM EST

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Racing in NASCAR has almost always been selfish, with the individual aspect outweighing cooperation. The 2013 Loudon Nationwide Series race witnessed one such classy act from Mike Wallace. The middle brother of the famed Wallace family pushed his teammate to the finish line, sacrificing an early finish in an unexpected turn of events on the track.

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The act of kindness has been compared to one such instance from the popular animated movie Cars’ protagonist, Lightning McQueen. While Mike’s career has drastically changed since then, a rare show of sportsmanship in NASCAR is always appreciated.

Mike Wallace does a Lightning McQueen at New Hampshire


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The 2013 Nationwide Series race in New Hampshire was filled with stars. Kyle Busch was the pick of the drivers on the day, grabbing his seventh win of the season and ending a winless streak of four races. Busch faced competition from Brian Vickers and third-place Austin Dillon. Brian Vickers could have had a much worse finish, considering his car ran out of gas just as he crossed the finish line. However, the real unlucky driver at the race was Landon Cassill.

The race underwent an overtime restart when Chad Hackenbracht spun and wrecked his car with only two laps remaining. Simultaneously, Cassill’s car had been running on fumes and stopped in the same lap. He slowed his vehicle, pushed back down towards the left corner, and waited for the tow truck to push him out. But instead, the one to take him over the finish line was his teammate at JD Racing, Mike Wallace.


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Wallace bumped the rear of Cassill’s car and began to drive slowly towards the finish line. While there would have been not many better consequences for Mike Wallace in the race, he decided to help out his teammate anyway. This takes one back to Disney’s iconic movie Cars, where Lightning McQueen takes The King to the finish line just when he would have won the race.

The display of sportsmanship took the community by surprise. Considering Mike Wallace and his controversial nature, which has put him in tight spots again and again, who would have wondered this?

Mike Wallace’s infamous and indefinite NASCAR suspension

In 2020, NASCAR found Mike Wallace guilty of violating the sanctioning body’s behavioral guidelines for drivers. As per reports, Wallace was handed a break from racing for an insensitive social media post on Facebook. NASCAR highlighted the part from the rule book that was used to deliver the ban and stated,

“Member actions that could result in a fine and/or indefinite suspension or termination: Public statement and/or communication that criticizes, ridicules, or otherwise disparages another person based upon that person’s race, color, creed, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, marital status, religion, age, or handicapping condition.

Wallace had returned to full-time racing for JD Racing after five years and was asked to improve his behavior through a sensitivity training session. Mike Wallace followed up with another post that asked people, specifically fans, to reconsider before speaking ‘uneducated’ things out loud on social media.


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He wrote: “You know, as I fly across the United States today, I’m ready for various people’s political views, and I have to say a famous four-star Military General that I spent time with in the MidEast told me, Mike let me give you some advice don’t ever get in a conversation about politics or religion unless you are really smart. I said why do you say that comment. His response it’s like being balanced on a single-edge razor blade if you slip, you will get cut!”

Think about that before we all make foolish, uneducated posts! The moral of this story is most of us just repeat what we have heard we really don’t know. Have a great positive day!”


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Watch This Story: Dale Earnhardt Jr & Kevin Harvick Calls for Stricter Officiating From NASCAR

We have seen many drivers lose their composure and give in to intrusive thoughts. A more recent example would be Kyle Larson‘s incident in 2020. Such cases can derail a driver’s career and should be avoided.

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Written by:

Ansuman Abhisek


One take at a time

I instantly fell in love with the sport as I witnessed the cars' breakneck speeds and the robust nature of the sport and its drivers. As I had a deep-rooted interest in automobiles, the sport naturally piqued my interest in a jiffy. Kyle Busch and his cutthroat style of racing played an important role in getting me hooked to stock car racing as I hopped on streams to watch him win races.
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Edited by:

Shivali Nathta