Did NASCAR dig their own hole with Bubba Wallace’s response?
Has NASCAR dug its own hole with the whole Bubba Wallace situation, given how they've handled drivers who have admitted intent in the past?
Many have called for 23XI Racing's Bubba Wallace to be suspended following the incident during Sunday afternoon's
NASCAR Cup Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway involving him and Hendrick Motorsports' Kyle Larson.
Larson attempted a three-width move to the inside of Wallace and Stewart-Haas Racing's Kevin Harvick,
but he failed to clear Wallace on the exit of Las Vegas turn four, 1.5 miles (2,414 kilometers), Nevada oval.
Although there was no contact between Larson's No. 5 Chevrolet and Wallace's No. 45 Toyota,
Wallace did not get up and ran out of space on the exit of turn four, leading to light contact with the wall.
Larson pulled in in an attempt to complete the move, but Wallace came with him and hooked him in the right rear.
Both cars spun, causing an accident that also retracted Joe Gibbs Racing's Christopher Bell's #20 Toyota.
The sinking had huge playoff implications as Bell is one of eight remaining contenders for the championship,
and while Larson himself is not, his No. 5 team is still in contention for the title holder.
Wallace then broke a safety-related rule, getting out of his car and walking around a live track while heading to where Larson's car had stopped.
After initially slipping on arrival, he pushed Larson five times, although he was unable to provoke the reigning series champion in an actual fight.
He ultimately blamed the accident on a driving problem, although to everyone watching (and seeing NBC's full throttle graph) it seemed 100% intentional,
in which case it would have been a situation where he was using his car as a weapon.
Although Wallace was not called to the truck, NASCAR later stated that it would review the entire incident from start to finish.
They will certainly have the data and resources available to make a decision about whether or not they felt it was intentional.
Wallace not admitting that he did this on purpose is by no means a surprise, given NASCAR's history of penalizing drivers who tell the truth.
He told NBC Sports reporter Marty Snider to "stop fishing" when he asked about the concept of retaliation, and even in his apology, he didn't admit it.