Column By: HOLLY CAIN / NASCAR – TALLADEGA, AL – Bubba Wallace earned his first career NASCAR Cup Series victory at Talladega Superspeedway last fall, yet the driver of the No. 23 23XI Toyota said he can’t help but re-live the huge moment in his career. Often. And it is a huge motivation this week.
“To be honest with you, I sit here and think about it a lot and people put so much emphasis on the win,’’ said Wallace, who advanced to final round qualifying and will start ninth for Sunday’s race.
“We talk about it, talk about it, talk about it and it builds up. I just like to keep it low key under the radar. That’s how I like to roll about life. Some people may disagree, but it is special to be here. I’m excited.
“I know how good our speedway cars are and if [spotter] Freddie [Kraft] and I do what we can do at these speedway races like we’ve been doing then, I know we will have a shot to win. It’s a team effort. … As long as we stay in the race and maintain where we are at and just have a fighting chance, it will be a good day.
“That’s what I look forward to the most.’’
Wallace’s only top-10 of 2022 is a runner-up finish in the season-opening DAYTONA 500 on the other “big track” on the schedule.
NASCAR CUP SERIES QUALIFYING INSPECTION
Three cars had problems in the pre-qualifying inspection for the NASCAR Cup Series. The No. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota driven by Martin Truex Jr and the No. 47 JTG Daugherty Chevrolet driven by Ricky Stenhouse Jr. both failed inspection twice and will lose pit selection.
A crew member from each team was also ejected.
The No. 77 Spire Motorsports Chevrolet driven by Landon Cassill failed inspection three times and has lost pit selection, lost the chance to qualify for the race, been issued a drive-through penalty in the race and had a crew member ejected.