RICHMOND, Va. (April 29, 2017) – Bubba Wallace, driver of the No. 6 Mello Yello Ford Mustang, took advantage of the final restart in Saturday afternoon’s NASCAR XFINITY Series race at Richmond International Raceway to earn a sixth-place finish. The result is Wallace’s sixth top-10 overall and his sixth sixth-place finish in the first eight races of the 2017 season.
“What a day,” said Wallace. “This sixth-place finish is not like our other ones. We definitely didn’t deserve it but our attitude is to never give up. I didn’t think we would get up to the top-10 but long runs helped us for sure. We just didn’t have that fire-off speed. Thanks to Mello Yello for coming on board and Ford. It isn’t Mello Yello’s debut, they have been in the sport longer than me, but a good debut on our car. We had Leidos for a sixth-place, Mello Yello for sixth-place and we have a great partner with Globe Life coming up for hopefully two sixth-place finishes or better. We will make the most of it.”
Wallace began the scheduled 250-Lap event from the 19th position and battled with a tight-handling Mello Yello Mustang for much of the first stage. Although not handling to his liking, Wallace improved five positions during the 75-Lap opening stage to take the green-checkered flag in 14th.
Stage 2 began with similar handling issues for the Roush Fenway Racing driver as the Mello Yello Mustang was too tight through the center of the corner and struggled to find forward drive on the exit of the corner. Despite the handling issues, Wallace maintained his top-15 track position throughout the stage and crossed the finish line at the completion of Stage 2 on Lap 150 in 14th.
Wallace took the restart for the third and final stage from the 12th position on Lap 164 but was shuffled back to 15th before the caution came out once again on Lap 181. The driver of the Mello Yello Mustang took the ensuing restart in 14th and took advantage of a long green flag run to drive into 10th before the yellow flag waved again on Lap 238. Crew chief Seth Barbour took advantage of this caution period to bring Wallace back to pit road for four fresh tires and a chassis adjustment.
Wallace returned to the track following the stop in ninth and wasted little time moving into seventh just prior to the caution coming back out following a Lap 244 restart. This caution set up NASCAR’s version of overtime.
Wallace took the green flag for overtime from seventh but quickly drove up to sixth before the caution flag waved once again after the race leaders took the white flag. In the end, Wallace took the checkered flag in the sixth position.
The result is Wallace’s sixth sixth-place finish of 2017 and ranks the Roush Fenway driver second in top-10 finishes among all drivers with six top-10s.
Next up for the NASCAR XFINITY Series is Talladega Superspeedway on Saturday, May 6.