BRISTOL, Tenn. (April 22, 2017) – Bubba Wallace, driver of the No. 6 Leidos Ford Mustang, improved 20 positions throughout the course of the rain-marred NASCAR XFINTY Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway on Saturday afternoon before getting collected in a multi-car incident with 40 laps remaining, ultimately leading to a 33rd-place finish.
“It’s just an unfortunate day,” said Wallace. “I was just fighting hard for the lucky dog. We were put in the back for some circumstances we’ve got to get straightened out, but we were trying to make the most of it. We were fast. We were so fast there with our Leidos Mustang. It’s just unfortunate. We were clawing ourselves out of that lap-down spot and just ran out of time and ran out of luck.”
Wallace was forced to take the green flag for the 300-Lap event from the rear of the field due to issues in pre-race technical inspection. Although starting from the rear, Wallace charged forward, improving 20 positions over the first 45 laps of Stage 1 and up to as high as 15thbefore losing a lap to the race leaders during the long green flag run to begin the stage. Wallace maintained his top-15 track position through a Lap 79 caution and finished Stage 1 in the 15th position.
In between stages, crew chief Seth Barbour called Wallace to pit road for four tires and a chassis adjustment. The Roush Fenway Racing driver returned to the track for the beginning of Stage 2 in 17th and fought for the free pass position throughout much of the stage before a caution for rain on Lap 159 halted the race for roughly two hours.
When the race restarted, Wallace continued to battle to get into the free pass position, racing back into 16th before a caution on Lap 219 just after race leader Kyle Larson lapped the 15th-place car trapped the Leidos Mustang a lap down once again. Utilizing a never-give-up attitude Wallace pressed forward and battled side-by-side with the No. 19 for the free pass position following a Lap 259 restart before contact with another car sent the Leidos Mustang sideways in the middle of the third and fourth corner, severely damaging the left-rear.
Wallace was unable to continue as a result of the damage and was scored with a 33rd-place finish.