LONG POND, Pa. (June 10, 2017) – Bubba Wallace, driver of the No. 6 Globe Life Ford Mustang, overcame a pit road speeding penalty and improved 12 positions over the final 14 laps of the NASCAR XFINITY Series race at Pocono Raceway on Saturday afternoon to earn an 11th-place finish.
“I gave it my all on that last restart,” said Wallace. “I wish we could’ve gotten one spot more there in the closing laps to get another top-10 but it was still a really nice recovery after the speeding penalty. My spotter Freddie (Kraft) said we got 12 spots at the end so I’m happy about that. I just want to thank (crew chief) Seth (Barbour) and all my guys on this team for their hard work this weekend. We fought hard all day and never gave up and got a better result here than we had last year so I’m proud of that for sure.”
Wallace took the green for the 100-Lap event from the 13th position after just missing making the final round of qualifying on Saturday morning. Wallace maintained his track position throughout the opening 25-Lap stage, despite fighting a Ford Mustang that got progressively tighter during the course of the green flag run. The Roush Fenway Racing driver took the green and checkered flag to end Stage 1 in 13th.
Crew chief Seth Barbour called Wallace to pit road in between stages for four tires and a chassis adjustment in the hopes of alleviating the tight-handling condition. After returning to the track in 16thWallace steadily moved forward, racing up to 12th before a handful of the race leaders came to pit road before the end of the stage. Opting to remain on the racetrack, Wallace drove up to the seventh position by the completion of Stage 2 on Lap 50.
A speeding penalty on pit road prior to the beginning of the final stage sent Wallace to the tail end of the field for the Lap 56 restart. Taking the green in 26th, the Roush Fenway driver quickly maneuvered back into the top 20 and up to 19th before coming to pit road for fuel only on Lap 62. Wallace returned to the track in 27th following the stop as a variety of pit strategies dominated the final stage. An opportune caution on Lap 78 gave Barbour another opportunity to bring Wallace to pit road for the final set of sticker tires.
Wallace took the ensuing restart on Lap 84 from the 23rd position following the stop and immediately charged forward, improving five positions after just one lap. The climb forward continued from there as Wallace rejoined the top-15 on Lap 88 and moved up to the 11th position with five laps remaining.
In the end, Wallace maintained his track position and took the checkered flag in the 11th position. The result is Wallace’s ninth top-15 finish of 2017.