Wallace Turns in Gutsy Performance, Earns Sixth-Place Finish in Las Vegas
LAS VEGAS, Nev. (March 12, 2017) – Bubba Wallace, driver of the No. 6 Leidos Ford Mustang, overcame a battle with flu-like symptoms to earn a sixth-place finish in the NASCAR XFINITY Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Saturday afternoon.
“I can’t thank my guys enough,” said Wallace. “We had such a fast race car. We drove up to fourth there. We had a good long-run car. On balance we were flopping back-and-forth from free to loose it seemed like on every restart. It was a handful to start with, but she had some speed. It’s a good run for Leidos again. We got a little bit more speed to gain, but I tell you it’s fun coming back to the race track. Being fast, hell, I’ll do it with the flu every time when we’re that good.”
Wallace took the green flag for the 200-Lap event from the 16th position after advancing to the second round of knockout qualifying on Saturday morning. From the beginning of Stage 1, Wallace battled a Leidos Mustang that was free rolling through the corners. Despite the handling condition, Wallace charged through the field, improving 10 positions following a Lap 5 caution to complete Stage 1 in the eighth position.
After pitting for four tires and a chassis adjustment Wallace took the green flag for Stage 2 from seventh and maintained his top-10 track position throughout the stage, running as high as fourth before a caution just 10 laps before the completion of the stage shuffled the running order. In the end, Wallace took the green-checkered flag to complete Stage 2 in the 10th position.
Prior to the beginning of the final stage, crew chief Seth Barbour called Wallace to pit road for four tires and a chassis adjustment. In a pit cycle that saw several drivers stay on the racetrack, Wallace took the green for the final stage from the 17th position. Despite the lack of track position, the driver of the Leidos Mustang wasted little time moving forward, rejoining the top-10 just eight laps after the restart and driving up to as high as the fourth position before the first round of green-flag pit stops began on Lap 143.
Following the green-flag stop Wallace returned to the track in fifth and continued to fight for position in the top five until a restart on Lap 170 shuffled the Roush Fenway Racing driver back to eighth. Despite being shuffled, Wallace never gave up, utilizing a late-race restart on Lap 196 to race three-wide and take the checkered flag in the sixth position.
Next up for the NASCAR XFINITY Series is Phoenix International Raceway on Saturday, March 18.