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Bubba Wallace suspended by NASCAR for one race

NASCAR Cup Series driver Bubba Wallace has been assessed a one-race suspension as a result of his altercation with Kyle Larson last weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

On Tuesday, NASCAR suspended Wallace from this weekend’s race at Homestead-Miami Speedway for intentionally wrecking the car of Kyle Larson during last Sunday’s race at Las Vegas.

No fine or points penalties were assessed.

Wallace, who drives the No. 45 Toyota for 23XI Racing, is the first driver to be suspended for actions in a race since 2019, when Johnny Sauter was suspended one race for intentionally wrecking Austin Hill in a Truck event at Iowa Speedway. He is the first Cup driver suspended for an on-track incident since Matt Kenseth in 2015 when he intentionally wrecked Joey Logano at Martinsville Speedway.

On Lap 95 of 267 in Sunday’s Cup Series race, Larson slid up into Wallace – who had won Stage 1 and led 29 of the first 94 laps – and knocked him into the outside wall.

As Wallace came back down the track, he slammed into the right-rear of Larson’s No. 5 Chevrolet, sending both cars spinning and damaged beyond repair. Playoff driver Christopher Bell was also swept in the crash and fell out of the race.

After exiting his own car, Wallace walked over to Larson’s wrecked car and started shoving Larson.

On Monday night, Wallace issued an apology for his actions on his Twitter account and titled it, “Reflection.”

 

In an interview on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, Steve O'Donnell, NASCAR's chief operating officer, said Wallace's suspension was the result of what happened in the race car and that the decision was made based on the rate of speed of the choices made in the incident. "It's been very rare, if ever, that we suspend drivers," he said. "We don't take that action lightly."

23XI Racing has named John-Hunter Nemechek as the driver of the No. 45 car this weekend, releasing the following statement in response to the suspension:

 

In other penalties levied Tuesday:

- Mark Setzer, crew chief for Xfinity Series driver Jeremy Clements has been fined $25,000 and suspended one race for not using a composite body part as supplied from the manufacturer. The team was also stripped of 40 owner and driver points.

- Ben Beshore, crew chief for Cup Series driver Kyle Busch, along with crew members Derrell Edwards and Michael Hicks are suspended for the next four NASCAR events, including the Busch Light Clash in 2023. A wheel came off of Busch’s No. 18 Toyota following a pit stop in Sunday’s race at Las Vegas.

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