NASCAR officials plan to speak with Bubba Wallace after his post-race altercation with Alex Bowman following Sunday’s Bank of America Roval 400 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR executive vice president and chief racing development officer, indicated Monday morning on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio that the competition department would intervene before this weekend’s events at Dover International Speedway.
“I would say I will be having a conversation with Bubba Wallace. That was really not classy whatsoever,” O’Donnell told SiriusXM. “I understand that drivers have issues with each other during the race. We totally get that, but with drivers on the ground being tended to by medical personnel, you need to be smarter than that, and we’ll have that conversation with Bubba and we’ll see how that goes, obviously prior to Dover.”
After a pair of incidents in the first half of Sunday’s race, Wallace was still fuming after the checkered flag and marched to Bowman’s parked car. Bowman, who had carried an illness through the weekend, was being treated by medical personnel as Wallace approached. Wallace splashed Bowman with a drink before storming off.
In other remarks from O’Donnell’s appearance on SiriusXM’s “The Morning Drive:”
• O’Donnell indicated he was generally pleased with the second year of racing on Charlotte’s combination oval and road course, hinting that the event had a long-term future on the schedule.
“I thought it was as good as Roval, Round 1, and glad it’s on the schedule and here to stay,” O’Donnell said. “I think it’s an exciting weekend for the fans and presents a huge challenge for the entire industry.”
• O’Donnell provided an update on the aftermath of an unusual rash of engine failures during the Sept. 13 NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
After an investigation revealed that extreme temperatures and engine load caused reliability issues for Ilmor Engineering’s power plants, ThorSport Racing — which was hit particularly hard by the failures — petitioned NASCAR to restore championship eligibility for ThorSport drivers Grant Enfinger and Johnny Sauter, who were eliminated from the postseason by early engine-related exits at Las Vegas.
“We’re going to follow up with the race team. Our intent is not to do that,” O’Donnell said. “We understand that it was a really, really tough circumstance, and we’ve got to do everything in our power and we are to avoid that going forward. Ilmor has certainly gone to work to figure out exactly what happened there. Unfortunately, it’s one of these things where parts and pieces break at times on vehicles. That happens. That’s not something that’s acceptable in this case. We’ve got to get that fixed and we will. I think there’s a good plan in place to go forward.”