Bubba Wallace has been suspended from the next NASCAR Cup Series race because of his actions last weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Wallace will sit out this weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway. He was not fined or docked points.
John Hunter Nemechek will drive the No. 45 Toyota for 23XI Racing in the Dixie Vodka 400. It will be his first Cup Series start since 2020.
After believing he was deliberately sent into the wall off Turn 4, Wallace hooked Kyle Larson in the right rear and spun the reigning series champion across the frontstretch. Before Larson hit the outside wall, he collected playoff driver Christopher Bell. Wallace also physically confronted Larson after both climbed from their cars.
“Our actions are really specific to what took place on the racetrack,” NASCAR chief operating officer Steve O’Donnell told SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. “When we look at how that incident occurred, in our minds, really a dangerous act. We thought that was intentional and put other competitors at risk. As we look at the sport and where we are today, and where we want to draw that line going forward, we thought that definitely crossed a line, and that’s what we focused on in terms of making this call.”
Wallace issued an apology via social media on Monday night.
Wallace is the first Cup Series driver to be suspended for an on-track incident since Matt Kenseth in 2015.
NASCAR did not suspend Noah Gragson for hooking Sage Karam in the right rear during the Xfinity Series race at Road America earlier this season (July 2). Gragson was fined $35,000 and docked 30 points.
No penalty was issued to Carson Hocevar after what appeared to be an intentional right hook of Colby Howard in the Camping World Truck Series race at Indianapolis (July 29).
In addition to Wallace’s suspension, NASCAR issued three other penalties after Las Vegas.
Kyle Busch’s crew chief Ben Beshore, jackman Derrell Edwards, and tire changer Michael Hicks were suspended for four races for the left front wheel that came off Busch’s car Sunday. The suspensions will go through the 2023 Clash at the Coliseum.
In the Xfinity Series, Joe Gibbs Racing driver Chris Gayle was fined $5,000 for a lug nut not being secure on the No. 54 Toyota of Ty Gibbs.
Mark Setzer, crew chief for Jeremy Clements, was suspended for one race and fined $25,000. NASCAR noted the “flange fit composite body must be used as supplied from the manufacturer without modification.” The No. 51 team was also docked 40 driver and owner points.