KANSAS CITY, Kan. (Oct. 15, 2016) – Bubba Wallace, driver of the No. 6 Leidos Ford Mustang, battled for position inside the top 15 in the closing stages of the NASCAR XFINITY Series event at Kansas Speedway before a multi-car incident on Lap 164 ended the Roush Fenway Racing driver’s afternoon early.
“It’s really unfortunate,” said Wallace after the race. “I think we could have picked off a couple spots for a top-10 to set us up for a really good day before we got caught up in that wreck in the corner. I hate that it happened for everyone on this Leidos team. We worked really hard overnight to get this thing where it needed to be so it’s definitely disappointing. We will move on. It is alright. We aren’t knocked out. It is just motivation to go to Texas.”
Wallace took the green flag in the first race in round two of the Chase from the 13th position after advancing to the second round of knockout qualifying on Saturday morning. In the early stages the Roush Fenway driver reported to crew chief Seth Barbour that the Leidos Mustang was tight from the center to the exit of the corner. This handling condition ultimately led to Wallace falling off of the lead lap during the first long green flag run of the race.
However, an opportune caution on Lap 68 gave Wallace the free pass back onto the lead lap and allowed crew chief Barbour a chance to bring the car to pit road to make adjustments. Wallace took the ensuing restart from the 14th position but a caution just six laps later on Lap 82 gave the Leidos team a chance to utilize some strategy as crew chief Barbour decided to leave Wallace on the race track while several of the race leaders hit pit road.
The strategy call paid off as Wallace took the Lap 91 restart from the race lead. Despite running up front, the tight-handling condition returned and Wallace was shuffled back to the 12th position during the green flag run that followed. The driver of the Leidos Mustang maintained his position in the top 15 throughout much of the middle portion of the event, racing up to as high as 11th before the caution came out once again on Lap 157.
When the race restarted on Lap 163 Wallace found himself on the outside of a three-wide battle when contact between two cars below caused a multi-car incident that severely damaged the Leidos Mustang. After surveying the damage in the garage it was determined that the car was unrepairable.
Wallace was scored with a 33rd-place finish.
With the result, Wallace ranks eighth in the NASCAR XFINITY Series Chase Grid with two races remaining in the round two.
Next up for the NASCAR XFINITY Series is the second race of round two of the Chase at Texas Motor Speedway on Saturday, Nov. 5.