Bubba Wallace, driver of the No. 6 Leidos Ford Mustang, overcame damage sustained from a multi-car incident on Lap 65 and improved five positions throughout the final stage of the NASCAR XFINITY Series race at Texas Motor Speedway on Saturday afternoon to record his fifth-consecutive sixth-place finish.
“What a blast out here today,” said Wallace. “I really fought hard there and did look with about nine laps to go where I was and we were sixth. Unreal. Shout out to my Leidos guys. My pit crew was on it all day and all year. They put us in the game there on the green-flag stop. I saw we came out a couple spots ahead of the guys we were behind and I knew it would be a good day. Thanks to Leidos and Ford and Jack Roush, we are making gains.”
In between Stages 1 and 2 crew chief Seth Barbour called Wallace to pit road for four tires and a chassis adjustment to help alleviate a loose-handling condition on entry. However, due to a variety of tire strategies during the pit stop, Wallace returned to the track for the beginning of Stage 2 in 15th. Despite the loss of track position Wallace immediately charged forward, improving six positions to ninth before the completion of the first lap following the restart.
The driver of the Leidos Mustang continued to press forward until contact with the No. 42 car heading into the third corner on Lap 65 knocked Wallace sideways, triggering a multi-car incident and causing damage to both the right-rear and left-front. After pitting several times for repairs during the caution Wallace returned to the track for the Lap 71 restart in the 23rd position and once again moved forward, racing up to 17th before the caution came out once again on Lap 83.
During this caution period, crew chief Barbour called Wallace back to pit road for fuel only in the hopes of gaining some track position. Wallace returned to the track in 16th when the race restarted on Lap 87 and improved six positions in the final laps of the stage to cross the finish line for the final time on Lap 90 in 10th.
Wallace took the green for the final stage from the second position after crew chief Barbour opted to leave the Leidos Mustang on the racetrack while other race leaders came to pit road. In a stage dominated by green-flag runs, Wallace was shuffled to as far back as 11th and battled a loose-handling condition through the center of the corner before hitting pit road under green on Lap 149. The Roush Fenway driver returned to the track following the stop in seventh.
In the closing laps, Wallace maneuvered his way into the sixth position and held off William Byron to score his fifth-consecutive sixth-place finish. With the result, Wallace remains tied for the series lead in top-10 finishes and improves one position to fourth in the championship standings.
Next up for the NASCAR XFINITY Series is Bristol Motor Speedway on Saturday, April 22.
We're going back to school with @BubbaWallace tonight on #RaceHub. A good story, and gems like this. 6pm ET @FS1 pic.twitter.com/wLIi19lcHP— Alan Cavanna (@CopaCavanna) April 11, 2017
@CopaCavanna @BubbaWallace @FS1 We should go back even further sometime. #RacingRoots pic.twitter.com/YcaYBVd6lB— John Morris (@JMorrisTV) April 12, 2017
- Half-Mile Bristol Motor Speedway
- Bristol, Tennessee
- Saturday, April 22, 2017
- 1:00 p.m. ET on FS1 and PRN
- Started: Eighth
- Finished: Sixth
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