NASCAR playoff drivers who missed out: No. 2 – Bubba Wallace
Sunday’s race was arguably 23XI Racing’s worst superspeedway race as a team. Yes, both Bubba Wallace and teammate Tyler Reddick led laps, but so did 22 of the other 36 drivers in the field, including +40000 longshot Ty Dillon of Spire Motorsports. The race consisted of 70 lead changes, the most since 2011.
Leading laps in a superspeedway race means practically nothing unless one of those laps is the final one. Even then, sometimes that can be useless, as Richard Childress Racing’s Kyle Busch found out when the Daytona 500 went to overtime.
Wallace, who is viewed by many as one of the sport’s strongest superspeedway drivers, settled for 23rd place on Sunday, bringing an end to what was a massively disappointing run of superspeedway races this year.
He finished in 20th place or lower in five of the season’s six superspeedway events, with the lone exception being a lackluster 12th place effort at Daytona International Speedway at the end of the regular season. His average finish was 22.5.
He sits nine points below the round of 8 cut line heading into Charlotte, and road course racing is far from his greatest strength. Considering the fact that Talladega is considered one of his best tracks, he at least would have like an extra 10 points (13th place at Talladega would have sufficed) to enter Charlotte above the cut line. Now it’s a major uphill climb.