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September 10, 2023

Bubba Wallace dips in playoff picture after Stage 2 crash at Kansas

Bubba Wallace’s aspirations for a repeat victory in Kansas Speedway’s race in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs were damaged in a Stage 2 crash.

Wallace finished 32nd in the Hollywood Casino 400 after his No. 23 23XI Racing Toyota scraped the outside retaining wall in Turns 1 and 2 in the 108th of 268 laps. He brought the car to pit road with a flat right-rear tire and continued after repairs to finish four laps down.

RELATED: Official race results | At-track photos: Kansas

Wallace was running a strong second at the time of the incident, and he finished in that position at the end of Stage 2, earning nine points toward his playoff total.

“I got loose like five laps before, but I realized that was kind of like my line, my approach next to Turn 4 and then three or four laps later, it blew out, no indication going into (turn) one,” said Wallace, who led three laps. “So, I’m pissed at myself. I wasn’t close to the fence and maybe would have got by with less damage, but you’re never gonna get a flat tire or blow a tire when you’re running 20th. You’re gonna get it when you’re really fast and lights out versus the competition.”

Wallace qualified for the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs for the first time in his career this season. He rallied from an early spin to seventh place in last weekend’s playoff opener at Darlington Raceway, but Sunday’s result at Kansas left him 19 points below the provisional elimination line with the Round of 16 finale next up Saturday at Bristol Motor Speedway (7:30 p.m. ET, USA, PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, NBC Sports App).