Michael McDowell ruined Bubba Wallace’s chances at advancing to NASCAR’s Cup Series All-Star Race on Wednesday night.
McDowell turned his car left on the straightaway and turned Wallace into the wall during the first segment of the qualifying race for the main event at Bristol.
McDowell was apparently unhappy with a bump that Wallace had just made to make a pass. McDowell was trying to block Wallace to keep him behind. But Wallace used his bumper to get past and McDowell looked like he took offense.
“People say he’s one of the nicest guys in the garage, can’t wait for the God-fearing text that he’s going to send me about preaching and praise and respect,” Wallace said after he was checked out at the infield care center. “What a joke he is.”
Wallace also appeared to give McDowell a gift after his TV interview.
.@BubbaWallace took the bumper of his wrecked #43 car and dropped it a the hauler door of @Mc_Driver.— Noah Lewis (NASCAR Writer) (@Noah_Lewis1) July 15, 2020
Not a happy driver.
PC: @PaulEdSutton, @peterstratta #NASCAR #AllStarOpen pic.twitter.com/G4fVWQ3Xid
The two drivers were in the qualifying race because neither driver won a race in 2019 or in 2020. McDowell started first but had fallen back in the race’s opening laps and was desperately trying to maintain his track position. He also took himself out with the move as his car went spinning off William Byron.
This isn’t the first kerfuffle McDowell has been in recently. He was in a fight with Daniel Suarez during qualifying at Phoenix in 2019.
The qualifying race for the All-Star Race is three segments and the winner of each segment advances to the All-Star Race along with the winner of a fan vote. Wallace was leading the fan vote and likely to advance to the main event had he not won any of the first three stages. But he’s ineligible for the All-Star Race because his car was crashed beyond repair.
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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.
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