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Opinion: Bubba Wallace should get a heavier punishment

Written by Gabriel Tsui, Edited by Simran Kanthi

Image credit: John Locher, AP Photo

After the Sunday incident in Las Vegas on 16 October 2022 between Bubba Wallace and Kyle Larson, NASCAR fans voiced concerns over Wallace's crazy actions. The Next-Gen cars are known to be vulnerable, and could easily harm the driver's health during these crashes. Yet, intentional or not, Wallace took his revenge at the worst time: when Larson was accelerating and at near top speed. He also endangered himself by spinning toward the wall.

When he spun, Larson also took out Christopher Bell ending his race. Moreover, after Wallace left his car, he went straight toward Larson and shoved him multiple times. These actions were uncalled for and Wallace endangered other drivers' safety, yet NASCAR announced on Tuesday (18 October) that Wallace would receive a one-race ban, which was far less than what most fans expected.

In 2015, Kenseth Walker's intentional wreck was a two-race ban. Most people in the community would agree that Wallace's intentional wreck was worse than Walker's. Yet NASCAR's punishment was soft, weak, and mostly disappointing.

If NASCAR is willing to hand out harsh crew chief bans and tens of thousands of dollars in fines just for modifying so-called "single source parts", or speaking against NASCAR (Rodney Childers and Kevin Harvick), why not a two-race ban or potentially a ban for the rest of the season for Wallace? If NASCAR actually believes in equality, why not hand out the same ban to Wallace that was implemented on Kenseth Walker?

It is unbelievable how NASCAR has issued only a one-race ban for a reckless move like this. If wrecking a competitor out of a race only results in a measly one-race ban, then everyone would start wrecking their rivals knowing NASCAR is soft on these penalties.

NASCAR should be harsh on these thoughtless, impetuous moves that have no racing intention, to protect other drivers' well-being.

Do better NASCAR.


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