Bubba Wallace Finishes 16th in his first XFINITY Road Course Race
WATKINS Glen, N.Y. (Aug. 9, 2015) – In his first road course start in the NASCAR XFINITY Series, Bubba Wallace started and finished 16th in the No. 6 Cheez-It Ford Mustang. Wallace showed speed, but was slowed down by multiple pit road penalties throughout the course of the 82-Lap race at Watkins Glen International.
Wallace lined up 16th after Saturday morning’s two round knockout-style qualifying session. From the drop of the green, Wallace gained two positions in the opening lap. When the first caution flew on Lap 8, Wallace radioed to the team that he was lacking lateral grip everywhere.
The rookie of the year contender maintained his position inside the top-15, until visiting pit road for the first time of the day under green flag conditions on Lap 19 for tires, fuel and chassis adjustments. Wallace was hit with pit road penalties for speeding and driving through too many pit boxes.
A timely caution allowed Wallace to serve the penalty under yellow, starting at the tail end of the field, instead of being forced to enter pit road for a pass through penalty under green. With the tail-end penalty, crew chief Chad Norris opted to bring the No. 6 Cheez-It Mustang down pit road to top off on fuel.
Under the next green flag run, Wallace worked to gain back the lost positions. By Lap 27, he was up to 11th. Through the halfway mark in the race, Wallace was able to solidly maintain position inside the top-15.
On Lap 49, Wallace visited pit road under green flag conditions for a scheduled four tire and fuel pit stop. As green flag pit stops cycled through, Wallace found himself inside the top-10 by Lap 64.
After several wild restarts in the closing laps, Wallace was forced to visit pit road to clean grass from the grille, in order to prevent his Mustang from overheating. Wallace was served with another speeding penalty.
Wallace came back down pit road under caution on Lap 75 for four tires. The pit crew made repairs to the deck lid, and also removed the remnants of a squirrel from the grille. With four laps remaining, Wallace restarted 23rd. He gained seven positions in the closing laps to cross the line in 16th.
With the result, Wallace remains sixth in the NASCAR XFINITY Series point standings, as the series travels to Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.
Nationwide Children’s Hospital 200 at Mid-Ohio
2.4-mile Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course
Saturday, August 15, 2015
3:30 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Network and MRN
Complete Race Results:
2015 Season Total: Sixth with 629 points
2015 SEASON SUMMARY
Starts Wins Top-Fives Top-10s Poles
20 0 1 7 1