Bubba Wallace introduced before the FireKeepers Casino 400. Aug 7, 2022; Brooklyn, Michigan, USA; NASCAR Cup Series driver Bubba Wallace (23) is introduced before the race at Michigan International Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

Bubba Wallace recorded his fourth consecutive top-1o finish this weekend, but he is not happy about it. Wallace finished second Sunday at the FireKeepers Casino 400 at Michigan International Speedway.

Wallace (seen above being introduced before the race) needed a win Sunday to lock up qualification for the playoffs, which see 16 drivers competing for the Cup Series championship over the final 10 races of the season. While second is another great finish for the No. 23 car, he was not happy at all to not pick up the win.

Wallace started the weekend winning the pole, but Kevin Harvick won the race. Harvick is the 15th different race winner this season. The playoff format sees race winners make it in, with any remaining spots based on points.

Currently, Ryan Blaney holds the only spot based on points. A 16th different winner would knock Blaney out. But there is a spot reserved for the regular-season champion. Currently, that’s Chase Elliott, who has 847 points and four wins to Blaney’s 728 points and zero wins. If Blaney passes Elliott in points without a win, both Blaney and Elliott would make the playoffs, and any further unique race winners would not. Wallace, 19th with 493 points, is not going to qualify based on points, so he needs to pick up a win. And even that might not be enough now, given the potential scenario where Blaney gets in ahead of the 16th winner. So it’s understandable why Wallace wasn’t thrilled with his second-place finish, especially as he felt he could do better. Here’s what he said about that afterwards, as per Dustin Long at NBC Sports:

“Second doesn’t get you in the playoffs. This is way worse than Daytona. Daytona, we kind of just fell into that one. This one, we had the car.

“Got behind a little bit on adjustments in the middle of the race. I didn’t think we were going to get back up there. It was so hard to pass. Aero sensitivity in these cars is just nuts. Just had to grind and stay hungry and get us up there. And next thing you know I made the wrong choice on a restart.”

Wallace has had an up-and-down season so far this year. Although this is his second runner-up finish of the season, his 19th place in the standings and zero wins isn’t getting him into the playoffs. But the good news is Wallace has a couple of more shots to win before the playoffs start on September 4th. But the window is closing fast.


About Stacey Mickles

Stacey is a 1995 graduate of the University of Alabama who has previously worked for other publications such as Sportskeeda and Saturday Down South.