HAMPTON, Ga. (March 4, 2017) – Bubba Wallace, driver of the No. 6 Leidos Ford Mustang, recorded a sixth-place finish in the NASCAR XFINITY Series event at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Saturday after overcoming a loose-handling car for much of the afternoon.
“We are all about not giving up,” said Wallace. “Not giving up on the team or the car and things will hopefully play out in your favor. We were able to capitalize on that restart and make the most of it. We didn’t have the speed to run with these guys early on so we really had to work for it there. I can’t thank my guys on this Leidos team enough. The pit crew was on it today and picked up a lot of spots each and every stop. This is what we needed for our season, so we will take this on to Vegas.”
Wallace took the green flag for the 163-Lap event from the 13th position after advancing to the second round of knockout qualifying on Saturday morning. From the beginning of Stage 1, Wallace reported to crew chief Seth Barbour that the Leidos Mustang was extremely loose through the corners. The loose handling condition shuffled Wallace back to the 22ndposition. Despite fighting a loose car, Wallace held off race leader Brad Keselowski to remain on the lead lap as the first stage of the afternoon came to an end on Lap 40.
Prior to the beginning of Stage 2, crew chief Barbour called the Leidos Mustang to pit road for four tires and a chassis adjustment in the hopes of improving the handling. The adjustments paid off as Wallace gained nine positions to 13th by the end of the second stage on Lap 80.
When the race restarted for the third and final stage Wallace wasted little time moving forward, racing into the top 10 and up to as high as ninth before the caution came out once again on Lap 142. Crew chief Barbour took advantage of this caution to bring Wallace back to pit road for four fresh tires.
After the best pit stop of the afternoon, Wallace took the ensuing restart on Lap 147 from the seventh position and quickly raced into the top five. After battling hard for with fellow Ford Performance driver Kevin Harvick in the closing laps, Wallace would cross the finish line for the final time in the sixth position.
Next up for the NASCAR XFINITY Series is Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Saturday, March 11.