Bubba Wallace is probably a little bit envious of the weekend Kyle Busch just had. Because while Rowdy racked up the 49th win of his NASCAR Cup Series career in the Gander Outdoors 400 at Pocono Raceway Sunday, Wallace earned his second DNF (Did Not Finish) of the season after his brakes failed while he was coming into Turn 1 with only five laps to go, causing him to slam hard into the retaining wall.
Wallace called the wreck the “hardest one of my career,” and when you see the footage for yourself, you’ll have a hard time disagreeing with him.
In an interview following the heavy crash, which earned Wallace a 33rd place finish, the Richard Petty Motorsports driver explained exactly what went wrong at Pocono.
“Holy cow. The lap before I was holding off the 10 car [Aric Almirola] and went into [Turn] 1 and the pedal started really creeping fast to the floor, and I went, oh boy,” said Wallace, according to Racer. “So, I let him go by, and then back into 1 again I was pumping it up, making sure, a little courtesy pump, and whew, there she went. She blew up, too much heat.”
“I should have stayed against the fence and used it to slow me down, I think Kasey [Kahne] did that here last year. Jimmie [Johnson] did kind of the same thing I did. That feeling going through the grass … you’re just like, hope and pray. Luckily we’re fine.”
2018 marks a year of bad luck for Wallace at Pocono, since the Pennsylvania track was also the spot where he experienced his first DNF this season. Clearly, the second time around was much worse than the first though.
“[The wreck was the] hardest one of my career,” Wallace said. “I was just telling them here, there’s no feeling like being helpless in that situation, going off into Turn 1 and it scared the hell out of me. I didn’t know if I was going to remember it when I hit or not. We’re good. Bit my cheek, banged my foot off the pedal. I’m okay though. I’ll wake up tomorrow (and) be a little sore, but the safety has come a long way so it’s good to be able to climb out of the car.”
“The EMTs were worried that I didn’t let the window net down soon enough and I was like, hell, that’s the last thing I thought about! I’m sorry. Everything was good. They gave me an ultrasound, no twins or anything so I’m good. Just unfortunate ending for us. Our Mile 22 Chevrolet was decent. We were trying to get by and trying to salvage a decent finish and just had brake failure.”
Obviously, the outcome at Pocono was a tough break for Wallace, and while he has a tough road ahead if he hopes to make the Cup playoffs, it’s a good thing he was able to make it out of the wreck in one piece.