NASCAR Cup Series driver Bubba Wallace Mar 18, 2023; Hampton, Georgia, USA; NASCAR Cup Series driver Bubba Wallace (23) watches the scoreboard during qualifying at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Mandatory Credit: David Yeazell-USA TODAY Sports

Bubba Wallace has struck back against Kyle Petty’s accusations that the driver is “mentally fragile.”

The NASCAR on NBC analyst made the comments recently after Wallace and Ty Gibbs refused to do an interview with the media before the regular season finale at Daytona.

“For professional athletes to refuse interviews is unacceptable in any game,” Petty said. “Unacceptable to your fans. Unacceptable to the sport. It’s just not — Ty Gibbs did the same thing. He didn’t want to do an interview. 

“I don’t know how these guys think that’s acceptable in any world because that’s what you’re here for. That’s what they pay you the money for. And it’s that stupid saying — that’s why you make the big bucks, dude. You got to handle it. Put it on your shoulders and carry it. If mentally he is that fragile, then maybe this is not the game for him. You know, honestly.” 

But Wallace had a few words for Petty recently.

“Well, I’m just here fulfilling my media obligations before the race,” Wallace told NBC Sports, mimicking similar comments from Kyle Busch at Phoenix in September 2019.

“I got a word count, though. I start speaking too many words; I get really anxious and mentally fragile. Now, on to the **** that matters,” he said, before addressing a question.

Wallace has said at times he feels unjustly criticized by fans and the media for some of the things he has done and he clearly felt that when responding to Petty’s comments.

{Kyle Dalton}

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.