What was looking like a sure-fire entry into the All-Star Race at Bristol by Bubba Wallace and his No. 43 Richard Petty Motorsports team quickly turned into an outright denial after contact with Michael McDowell sent Wallace hard into the outside wall, effectively ending Wallace’s chances of competing in the All-Star race.
17 laps into the event, Wallace had made minor contact with McDowell’s rear bumper in order to move him out of the way, only for McDowell to make a hard left turn into Wallace’s right-rear. The move cost the No. 43 team a race car and a shot at racing in the All-Star since the rule states that if a driver wins the fan vote they must have a car to compete in.
Afterward Wallace was pictured leaving the front bumper of the No. 43 at the No. 34 team’s hauler as a way of communicating his frustration with McDowell. He later spoke with reporters on his perspective of the incident.
“Oh, just disrespect,” said Wallace. “When you get hooked into the wall – my hair looks terrible. Sorry, Mom. When you get hooked the right rear into the wall – I don’t even need to see a replay. Look at that. Yeah, wow. People say one of the nicest guys in the garage. Can’t wait for the God-fearing text he’s going to send me about preaching and praising respect. What a joke he is.”
Meanwhile Chase Elliott took the win in front of the limited crowd in attendance, joining his father as an All-Star race winner, becoming only the second father-son duo to win the event behind Dale Earnhardt Sr. and Jr. Chase’s father Bill won the All-Star the only other time it wasn’t held at Charlotte, winning it at Atlanta in 1986.