The NASCAR announcement was made late Tuesday afternoon. The penalty does not include a fine or deduction of points.
Sunday’s accident began when Larson skidded on the track and pushed Wallace into the outer wall. Wallace bounced off the wall and moved down the track and hung Larson’s car, which collected the title contender Christopher Bell during its rotation. Bell was unable to continue racing and is last in the qualifying standings entering Sunday’s race at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
After both drivers got out of their cars, Wallace walked over to Larson, shouted at him and then pushed him several times. Wallace then walked toward the pits while a NASCAR official tried to redirect him to a waiting safety vehicle.
Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR’s chief operating officer, told SiriusXM NASCAR radio that the penalty was for “what happened on the racetrack. When we look at how that accident happened, it was in our minds a really dangerous act. We thought it was intentional and put the other competitors at risk. When Looking at the sport and where we are, we thought that definitely went too far.”
O’Donnell said the data allowed NASCAR to view the accident from different angles. “We are confident with the data we have and why we made (the decision),” he said.
“We really had to respond, which is an action we don’t really want to see going forward.”
Former hero of the series JUwe Lugano criticized Wallace’s on-track actions on TuesdayHe said he was putting Larson’s life at risk.
Wallace claimed after the race that he had not intentionally destroyed Larson, but Larson disagreed.
“That’s what it is,” Larson said. “Just aggression turned into frustration, and revenge.”
In a statement Tuesday evening, 23XI Racing indicated that it would not resume suspension.
“The 23XI is in line with NASCAR in the single-race suspension issued to Bubba, and we understand the need for the series to take a clear stand on the accidents that occurred at Las Vegas Motor Speedway,” the statement read. “Bubba’s actions are not in line with the values of our team and partners. We spoke to Bubba and expressed our disapproval of how he handled the situation. Bubba has made great strides this season, and this experience is an opportunity for him to further learn and grow as a competitor in NASCAR.”
Portions of the NASCAR rulebook are mentioned in the commentary announcement:
Section 4.3.A –NASCAR membership is a privilege. With this privilege come certain benefits, responsibilities and obligations. Correct and proper conduct, both on and off the racetrack, is part of the member’s responsibilities. A member’s actions can affect the sport as a whole and other NASCAR members. Ideally, NASCAR members are role models for the many fans who follow the sport, regardless of what type of license a member may hold, or the specific series a member may be involved in. Therefore, NASCAR views member behavior, both on and off the racetrack, which may constitute a violation of the Code of Conduct under this rulebook with great importance.
Section 4.4.C – Members actions that may result in a loss of 25-50 driver and team owner points wowAnd the $50,000 – $100,000 fine. and/or oneViolations may also result in Racing comment(s)or to suspend indefinitely or to terminate:
- Physical confrontation with a NASCAR official, members of the media, fans, etc.
- Confrontation(s) between members with physical violence and other manifestations of violence such as threat(s), abuse and/or endangerment.
- Attempting to manipulate the outcome of a race or tournament.
- sabotage or spinning another vehicle, whether or not that vehicle is removed from competition as a result.
Section 4.4 E (Part) – Actions by Members that may result in a fine and/or indefinite suspension or termination:
- Actions by a NASCAR member that NASCAR finds harmful to motor racing or NASCAR. “
Wallace apologized for his actions Monday night. “I compete with great passion, and sometimes frustration comes with passion,” he wrote. “In reflection, I should have represented our partners and core team values better than I did by letting my frustrations follow me out of the car. You live and learn, and I intend to learn from this. I want to apologize to NASCAR and the fans, along with Christopher Bell and Joe Gibbs. Racing and Toyota to put them in a position they don’t deserve in qualifying.”
Joey Logano won the race to secure a spot in Championship Four in Phoenix Raceway on November 6.