After having a disastrous ending to a NASCAR race in Nashville, Bubba Wallace didn’t exactly feel like having a conversation between himself and his pit crew chief Bootie Barker.
Wallace found himself in sixth place in the weather-delayed race when he was instructed by crew chief Bootie Barker to pit in order to deal with a tire that had come loose. Barker told Wallace to “stop, stop, stop,” which the driver did, only to be hit from behind by Tyler Reddick. While Barker tried to smooth things over with Wallace, the driver was not having any of it.
“Everything is good right now,” Barker said on the radio. “Obviously, we are a lap down. I apologize for that.”
“Leave me the f*** alone, dude. Don’t talk to me the whole f***ing race,” Wallace responded.
#NASCAR … 23 radio after 2nd setop
CC Bootie Barker trying to reassure Bubba
Bubba: "Leave me the —- alone. Don't talk to me the whole —- race.
Bootie: "We're not out of it. I know you are pissed and you deserve to be."
— Dustin Long (@dustinlong) June 26, 2022
Clearly, the pair aren’t seeing eye to eye in what is the latest problem to come up between Wallace and his crew. NASCAR veteran Kurt Busch seems to understand where Wallace is coming from and has is coming to the aid of the young driver, who is also his teammate for 23XI Racing.
Busch himself faced similar challenges back in the day when he started out.
“I’m like, ‘Hey, man, I’ve been here,” Busch said to reporters Tuesday of his message to Wallace. “‘I’m right there with you. I’m a racer. I’m passionate. We just have to get to that next level of professionalism. I’ve made those mistakes, and he’s making those mistakes and yet, it’s still a matter of just relying on all elements and all people within the team.
“So yes, I’m involved. But Bootie Barker is the leader of that 23 car. You know, we’ve got Denny (Hamlin) as our team owner and (Michael Jordan),” added Busch. “Everybody’s circling around on what the real core issue is. And that’s the consistency on the pitstops with the 23 car. So Bubba is right, but we just got to get that problem fixed. And we got to handle it the right way.”
— r/NASCAR on Reddit (@NASCARonReddit) June 28, 2022
Wallace has been having pit crew issues for a while. He had a loose wheel at Talladega and he had issues last month at a race in Kansas after two pit crew penalties, so it’s understandable why he would be upset. But if he wants to finish in better position in his upcoming races, he’ll want to figure out how to channel his frustrations.