Did Bubba Wallace deserve a penalty for moving through the grass late in the second half during Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series race, a race for which he scored several places?
One of the most confusing moments of Sunday NASCAR The Cup Series race was held at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in the final reboot, when Trackhouse Racing’s Ross Chastain went into the first turn area and took the escape route.
From his fourth starting position, this move put him ahead of Richard Childress Racing’s Tyler Reddick.
Reddick was able to regain the lead and win the race After a lap dash to the finish, but Chastain crossed the streak in second, ahead of Penske’s rookie team Austin Sendrick in third.
It seemed fairly obvious that it was an unfair move by Chastain, and as you might expect, it left both Reddick and Cindric wondering if they were actually racing for the position.
As it turns out, they weren’t, like Chastain and Richard Childress Racing Austin Dillon, who did the same but in a much less significant way in terms of race outcome, were issued 30-second penalties. Chastain is officially recorded as 27th instead of 2nd.
However, 23XI Racing’s Bubba Wallace was not penalized for his move. Should this have been the case?
In the penultimate restart, which was just as chaotic as the one that would follow, Wallace was shoved off the track in turn at one of the 13-lap 2,439-mile (3,925-kilometer) motorway racetrack on Indiana Road.
Watch the orange Toyota #23.
Although he didn’t go through an escape route as Chastain and Dillon did, his movement through the grass ended up earning him quite a few positions.
The argument that he was “forced” out of it makes sense, but in last year’s race Stewart-Haas Racing’s Chase Briscoe was forced out as well, and all he did when back on the track was to maintain his position. He ended up being punished.
At the very least, it would have made sense for Wallace to have to redo some positions. While he had nowhere to go, he technically developed his position on perfectly legal race cars that were not involved in the disaster of the road he took. Plus, we hear all the time about NASCAR inconsistency.
But at the same time, even for the sake of consistency, it is also difficult to formulate a full-fledged argument against non-advocacy.
He certainly didn’t deserve a 30-second penalty like Chastain and Dillon, and he certainly didn’t deserve a penalty that would have knocked him out of the competition for a decent finish like the one Briscoe got last year (Whether Briscoe is fair or not is another story). It was the product of dodgy action after I got off the road under green flag conditions.
Do you agree to the call? Would you have penalized Bubba Wallace for this move, even if it simply meant putting him back for a few points?