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Bubba Wallace has apologized for Sunday’s on-track incident with NASCAR rival Kyle Larson at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway after repeatedly shoving his fellow driver following a multi-car collision.
The confrontation began when Wallace ended up racing side-by-side with Larson in Turn 4 of the track. Larson, who was driving the #5 HendrickCars.com Chevrolet, bumped Wallace’s #45 McDonald’s Toyota into the wall while trying to pass.
“I’m smart enough to know how easily these cars break, so when you get shoved into the fence deliberately like he did trying to force me to lift, the steering was gone,” Wallace said after the race, as per the Associated Press. “Larson wanted to make a three-wide divebomb, but he never cleared me and I don’t lift.”
— Barstool Sports (@barstoolsports) October 16, 2022
When asked to explain his actions after the crash, Wallace simply said Larson “knows” why. “He [Larson] knows what he did was wrong. He wanted to question what I was doing, and he never cleared me.”
Twitter users accuse Bubba Wallace of being anti-Asian as he apologizes for his actions
— Bubba Wallace (@BubbaWallace) October 17, 2022
As Wallace was accused of being anti-Asian for his repeated shoves to Larson, who is of Japanese descent, it was actually Larson who made headlines in 2020 after using the N-word during a virtual race.
And according to Yahoo News, the many accusations against Wallace appear to be unfounded as he has not been reported to have uttered anything racist or anti-Asian during the incident, nor did Larson report any such references himself.
Larson even acknowledged that he made the initial aggression on Sunday. Explaining his actions, he stated, “I obviously made an aggressive move into [turn] three, got in low, got loose and chased it up a bit. He got to my right front, and it got him tight and into the wall. I knew he was going to retaliate.”
While Wallace and Larson are both having down years, they have a feud that goes back a decade, and like true NASCAR competitors, this beef will be settled on the track. NASCAR’s next race is scheduled for Sunday, Oct. 23 at the Dixie Vodka 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.