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Contact With Larson, Slow Stop Relegates Wallace to 13th


Bubba Wallace during Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series race at Richmond Raceway. (Photo: Daniel Rankin | The Podium Finish)

RICHMOND, Va. — Bubba Wallace accidentally spun out Kyle Larson with two laps to go at Richmond Raceway on Sunday and ended up finishing 13th after a slow pit stop.

Wallace spent the majority of the day inside the top 10, finishing second in Stage 1 and eighth in Stage 2. As the laps ticked down in the Toyota Owners 400, the 30-year-old from Mobile, Alabama, appeared in line for a top five — his first since the second race of the season at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

But while battling Kyle Larson with two laps to go, the two made contact. Wallace came up just a smidge too high and sent Larson spinning down the frontstretch, causing a caution.

All of the leaders pitted and a timely stop for Wallace would’ve given the 23XI Racing driver a chance to battle Denny Hamlin and Martin Truex Jr. for the victory. But an issue on the left side resulted in the No. 23 machine dropping more than 10 spots, restarting 16th before climbing back up to 13th at the checkered flag.

While speaking with FOX Sports’ Bob Pockrass, Wallace called Karma on himself — spinning out Larson and then falling outside the top 10. Meanwhile, Larson miraculously recovered to finish third.

“Got loose, overcorrected it into him,” Wallace said, explaining the incident. “They ended better. Karma’s a real thing. It cost us, but I was really content with fifth. Had a good run and just got loose, overcorrected into him. I apologize to the 5 team — not intentional by all means. But Karma’s quick in this sport, for sure.”

As Larson addressed the media, Wallace approached him and apologized.

Bubba Wallace during Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series race at Richmond Raceway. (Photo: Daniel Rankin | The Podium Finish)

“That wasn’t intentional, I hope you know that … seriously sorry about that,” he told Larson.

Larson and Wallace have some previous history, as the two tangled at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in fall 2022. Larson ran Wallace high and Wallace returned the favor by intentionally crashing him, then getting into an argument in the infield grass. Wallace got suspended for a race.

But Wallace’s only punishment on Sunday came to himself.

“I was a little bit loose off of [Turn] 4 and [Wallace] just nudged me,” Larson said, explaining the spin. “Just a slow spin and thankfully I was able to keep it straight and only lose a spot or two … I had some good Karma today and he had some bad Karma from it.”

Through seven races, Wallace sits 14th in points with his only top 10s coming at drafting tracks. He finished 35th at Las Vegas and finished 29th at Bristol Motor Speedway two weeks ago.

He’ll have an opportunity at another short track on Sunday, April 7 as the NASCAR Cup Series travels down the road to Martinsville Speedway. The race is set for 3 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

Nathan Solomon serves as the managing editor of The Podium Finish. He has been part of the team since 2021 and is accredited by the National Motorsports Press Association. Solomon is a senior in the Jandoli School of Communication at St. Bonaventure University. Contact him at

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