FONTANA, Calif. (March 25, 2017) – Bubba Wallace, driver of the No. 6 Leidos Ford Mustang, improved 17 positions over the final 36 laps in the NASCAR XFINITY Series race at Auto Club Speedway on Saturday afternoon to earn his fourth-consecutive sixth-place finish.
“This is crazy,” said Wallace. “I think we picked up some spots there on our last stop and held on for that finish that we keep getting – a sixth-place finish. Today was a great effort from my Leidos guys. We didn’t have the best Ford Mustang in the field, but we’re making gains. That’s constantly what we’re doing. It’s a really good finish for us. I’m ready to get home and have somewhat of an off weekend, but what a good day here in California for our Ford Mustang.”
Wallace took the green flag for the 150-Lap event from the 10th position after advancing to the final round of knockout qualifying on Saturday morning. Throughout Stage 1 the driver of the Leidos Mustang reported to crew chief Seth Barbour that he needed more overall grip and more front turn on the exit of the corner. This lack of grip shuffled Wallace back to as far as 19th before driving back up to 12th by the completion of Stage 1 on Lap 35.
The Roush Fenway Racing driver began Stage 2 again struggling to find grip through the corners. Despite the handling issue, Wallace maintained his top-15 track position and took the green-checkered flag to complete the stage in 12th.
Wallace took the green flag for the final stage on Lap 77 from ninth and continued to fight for position in the top 10 until a caution on Lap 106 shuffled up the running order. While under caution, the Leidos Mustang hit pit road for four fresh tires. As a result of the pit stop, Wallace returned to the track in 23rd as several cars opted to stay out.
Despite the loss of track position Wallace charged forward, improving eight positions in the lap following the Lap 114 restart and gaining a total of 12 positions before the caution came out once again with just nine laps remaining. Crew chief Barbour called Wallace back to pit road for four tires during the caution. The Leidos Mustang returned to the track following the stop in eighth after the pit crew gained three positions on pit road.
When the race restarted with four laps remaining Wallace battled three and four-wide for position, ultimately holding off a charge from Elliott Sadler to take the checkered flag in sixth. The result is Wallace’s fourth-consecutive sixth-place finish and ranks him tied for the series lead in overall top-10s with four.