Final Laps: Bubba Burger 250
Virginia-native Denny Hamlin holds his lead on a late-race restart to get his 11th win in the Nationwide Series.
Bubba Wallace: Helping NASCAR grow one tweet at a time
As the sport of stock car racing evolves, a new generation of drivers is poised to grab the reins of NASCAR. And Darrell Wallace Jr . -- better known as " Bubba ," driver of the No. 6 Roush Fenway Racing Ford in the XFINITY Series -- is one of the leaders of that charge. • • • Standing in the Concord, North Carolina-based Roush Fenway Racing museum on a brisk Wednesday morning, Wallace has zero airs about being one of the up-and-coming stars in racing. Dressed smartly in a pullover, flat-bill hat and leather Converse, he arrives promptly, immediately greeting everyone in the crew like old friends. "Time to look pretty now," Bubba tweeted out just prior to an on-camera interview. It has been a busy day for the 22-year-old, who just biked across RFR's campus from the morning pit practice and reveals he's heading to the ZMAX Dragway later in the day before leaving for Bristol Motor Speedway the next morning. But he's young, energetic and ambitious -- with a booming laugh that comes easily. Busy days like this don't seem to wear on him. That same fire and energy translates to the race track. Wallace and crew chief Seth Barbour put together a sixth-place run at the Powershares QQQ 300 at Daytona International Speedway -- a track that's not on Bubba's list of favorites -- and more recently, a career-best third-place at Auto Club Speedway . "We've just been working really hard, never giving up," Wallace said. "Going into Fontana, I didn't expect to finish third -- maybe 23rd the way we were running. … We've just been trying to really make a lot of gains." Nonetheless, it's the races sandwiched between Bubba's strong runs -- Atlanta, Las Vegas and Phoenix -- and a 15th-place result at Texas that the No. 6 driver focuses his attention on when he recounts the early part of the season. "Daytona, Fontana really went our way somewhat. The (others) did not," Wallace said. "We have to focus on why (those) did not and come up with a better game-plan to attack those next handful of races coming up." As Wallace adjusts to his sophomore season, the newly debuted XFINITY Series Chase format adds another element to the competition with its win-and-you're-in format. And Bubba is a fan. "I think it takes the pressure off us, really," he said. "I was talking to (Dale Earnhardt) Junior about it and he said that was the main thing that helped him was kind of relaxing. You get in kind of this consistent run -- obviously if you win, you're in. So, the emphasis is on winning but you can kind of take a step back knowing the points are going to reset as long as you're in the top 12. "So, it's exciting. I'm glad that NASCAR implemented that into the NASCAR XFINITY Series." • • • It's unsurprising Bubba favors the format, as the thrilling nature of the new Chase seems to fit the Bubba Wallace Brand -- something he's constantly building. It's a brand that’s a mixture of sass, humor, heavy metal music and transparency his fans experience through his social-media accounts. It could be a Twitter video of him and best friend/fellow driver Ryan Blaney 's heavy metal cover of a Parkway Drive song or a Snapchat of his plane ride to the track. It could be a tweet that reveals his fear of spiders ("You want an eight-legged thing running at you? Jumping at you? No," he said later) or an Instagram of his hike on the West Coast. No matter the subject, it's pure Bubba . That transparency allows fans to connect with Bubba away from the race track -- a luxury that many fans lack with their favorite drivers. "You get some of the funny tweets that you're not supposed to respond to but you do," Wallace said. "… It's just fun to be able to interact with them (fans). At the track, getting autographs, we get to talk to each other, but that's only two days out of the week. So, throughout, just keep them up with what you're doing." In the process, Bubba is aiding in the sport's growth: He appeared on an episode of the popular television show "American Idol" while in Los Angeles. He suited up for the gridiron and practiced with his childhood favorite Tennessee Volunteers football team. He's befriended rock stars like the band members from Asking Alexandria, bringing them to the race track. Just like that, NASCAR and pop culture have become intertwined. "Aside from what we do for a living, as far as race cars and turning left and going really fast, we have a personal life that we kind of like to show and show fans how we can connect with them," Wallace said. "A lot of fans watch 'American Idol' and I've got a lot of UT fans that follow me, so I've gotten to go to some of those games. And now I (got) to practice with the squad, which (was) really cool and one of the best days of my life. "But we just connect with the fans -- it's all about the fans in this sport," he continued. "We want to keep them engaged and get them to latch on, help build my brand." As the sport evolves, life's natural processes take place: Original, die-hard fans still form the core of NASCAR's audience, but as star drivers retire and up-and-comers make their marks, a younger generation steps into the light in the stands, too. These fans are still passionate -- but they're different. Young stars like Bubba know how to reach them. "I think anything that we do that's exciting, that's fun, that's cool to us is going to attract a new face," Wallace said. "NASCAR's all about bringing new faces in … We're trying to keep a consistent flow through and just trying to make everything exciting." At just 22 years old and at the beginning of a promising career, Bubba represents the future of NASCAR. And that future rocks out to Parkway Drive on the drums.
NASCAR TV schedule: May 2-May 8
RELATED: Find FS1 in your area All times ET Monday, May 2 8 a.m., NASCAR Sprint Cup Series: GEICO 500 (re-air), FS1 11 a.m., NASCAR Victory Lane, FS1 5 p.m., NASCAR Race Hub, FS1 6 p.m., NASCAR America, NBCSN Tuesday, May 3 6 a.m., The 10: Talladega Moments (re-air), FS1 6:30 a.m., WeatherTech SportsCar Championship: Laguna Seca (re-air), FS1 9 a.m., NASCAR XFINITY Series Sparks Energy 300 (re-air), FS1 5 p.m., NASCAR Race Hub, FS1 5 p.m., NASCAR America, NBCSN Wednesday, May 4 5 p.m., NASCAR Race Hub, FS1 5 p.m., NASCAR America, NBCSN Thursday, May 5 5 p.m., NASCAR Race Hub, FS1 Friday, May 6 11:30 a.m., NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practice, FS1 12:30 p.m., NASCAR Race Hub: Weekend Edition, FS1 1:30 p.m., NASCAR Sprint Cup Series final practice, FS1 4:30 p.m., NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Keystone Light Pole Qualifying, FS1 6 p.m., NASCAR Race Hub: Weekend Edition, FS1 6:30 p.m., NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coors Light Pole Qualifying, FS1 8 p.m., NASCAR Camping World Truck Series SetUp, FS1 8:30 p.m., NASCAR Camping World Truck Series: Toyota Tundra 250 , FS1 11 p.m., NASCAR Camping World Truck Series: Post-Race Show, FS1 Saturday, May 7 4 a.m., NASCAR Camping World Truck Series: Toyota Tundra 250 (re-air), FS1 6:30 a.m., The 10: Earnhardt Moments (re-air), FS1 7 a.m., NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coors Light Pole Qualifying (re-air), FS1 7 p.m., NASCAR RaceDay, FS1 7:30 p.m., NASCAR Sprint Cup Series: GoBowling 400, FS1 Sunday, May 8 3 a.m., NASCAR Sprint Cup Series: GoBowling 400 (re-air), FS1 8 a.m., Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge: Mazda (taped), FS1 &amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;nbsp;
Right at home: Bowyer set for Kansas truck start
RELATED: Truck Series entry list Clint Bowyer is scheduled to make his first NASCAR Camping World Truck Series start in nearly two years, running Friday night's event as a home-state favorite at Kansas Speedway . Bowyer -- an Emporia, Kansas native -- is listed as the driver of record for the GMS Racing No. 24 Chevrolet for Friday's Toyota Tundra 250 (8:30 p.m. ET, FS1, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio). Bowyer is a three-time winner in the series, with his most recent victory coming on June 4, 2011 in his only Truck Series start at the 1.5-mile Kansas track. His most recent Truck Series appearance netted a fourth-place finish at Pocono Raceway in August 2014. Bowyer will run double-duty in NASCAR national-series competition for the first time this season. He's also set to drive the HScott Motorsports No. 15 Chevrolet in Saturday night's GoBowling 400 (7:30 p.m. ET, FS1, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) for the Sprint Cup Series. Friday's 250 .5-mile Camping World Truck Series event kicks off three consecutive weekends of racing for the Truck Series, with Dover and Charlotte to follow Kansas on the 23-race schedule.
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Owner Standings
After Race 10 of the 2016 season at Talladega Superspeedway Pos Owner Car # Points Ldr Nxt PPos G/L Attempts 1 Stewart-Haas Racing 4 351 0 -- 2 1 10 2 Joe Gibbs Racing 18 342 -9 -9 4 2 10 3 Joe Gibbs Racing 19 337 -14 -5 1 -2 10 4 Hendrick Motorsports 48 329 -22 -8 3 -1 10 5 Team Penske 22 316 -35 -13 5 0 10 6 Stewart-Haas Racing 41 312 -39 -4 6 0 10 7 Team Penske 2 300 -51 -12 9 2 10 8 Hendrick Motorsports 88 279 -72 -21 7 -1 10 9 Furniture Row Racing 78 274 -77 -5 10 1 10 10 Richard Childress Racing 3 272 -79 -2 12 2 10 11 Hendrick Motorsports 24 271 -80 -1 11 0 10 12 Joe Gibbs Racing 11 269 -82 -2 8 -4 10 13 Chip Ganassi Racing 1 261 -90 -8 13 0 10 14 JTG Daugherty Racing 47 232 -119 -29 17 3 10 15 Joe Gibbs Racing 20 231 -120 -1 15 0 10 16 Roush Fenway Racing 6 228 -123 -3 18 2 10 17 Hendrick Motorsports 5 224 -127 -4 14 -3 10 18 Wood Brothers Racing 21 219 -132 -5 20 2 10 19 Richard Childress Racing 31 219 -132 0 16 -3 10 20 Roush Fenway Racing 17 218 -133 -1 19 -1 10 21 Stewart-Haas Racing 14 209 -142 -9 23 2 10 22 Richard Childress Racing 27 201 -150 -8 21 -1 10 23 Chip Ganassi Racing 42 197 -154 -4 22 -1 10 24 Roush Fenway Racing 16 188 -163 -9 24 0 10 25 Richard Petty Motorsports 43 180 -171 -8 25 0 10 26 Front Row Motorsports 38 170 -181 -10 28 2 10 27 Stewart-Haas Racing 10 166 -185 -4 26 -1 10 28 HScott Motorsports 15 160 -191 -6 31 3 10 29 Germain Racing 13 149 -202 -11 27 -2 10 30 Richard Petty Motorsports 44 142 -209 -7 30 0 10 31 BK Racing 83 139 -212 -3 29 -2 10 32 Circle Sport-Leavine Family 95 131 -220 -8 34 2 10 33 Tommy Baldwin Racing 7 127 -224 -4 32 -1 10 34 BK Racing 23 124 -227 -3 33 -1 10 35 Front Row Motorsports 34 101 - 250 -23 35 0 10 36 HScott Motorsports 46 90 -261 -11 36 0 10 37 Premium Motorsports 98 86 -265 -4 37 0 10 38 GO FAS Racing 32 84 -267 -2 38 0 10 39 Premium Motorsports 55 41 -310 -43 41 2 5 40 The Motorsports Group 30 34 -317 -7 39 -1 10 41 Circle Sport - Leavine Family 59 26 -325 -8 40 -1 1 42 Front Row Motorsports 35 24 -327 -2 44 2 2 43 BK Racing 93 5 -346 -19 42 -1 2 44 BK Racing 26 3 -348 -2 43 -1 1 45 Hillman Racing 40 0 -351 -3 45 0 1
#StatusUpdate: Bubba drops Twitter knowledge
NASCAR.com's Jonathan Merryman catches up with NASCAR XFINITY Series driver Darrell Wallace Jr. to discuss some of the finer points of social media.
Suarez, Bubba , Blaney get 24/7 pit crews
Drivers rely on their pit crews for a lot: changing tires, mechanical adjustments, windshield tear-offs, you name it. Some drivers take it to the next level of dependency, though. Just ask Daniel Suarez , Bubba Wallace and Ryan Blaney , who apparently are so reliant on their pit crews, they're there from the moment the day starts, to helping out (a little too much) in the gym and even assisting during lunchtime, too. Our pals at Whistle Sports gave us an inside look at these drivers using their pit crews outside of the car, to some pretty hilarious results. Being a @NASCAR pit crew is a FULL TIME job... ft. @BubbaWallace @Daniel_SuarezG @Blaney @BuffDudes @ScooterMagruder https://t.co/ZETGEtugr4 — Whistle Sports (@WhistleSports) March 17, 2016 Being a @NASCAR pit crew is a FULL TIME job... ft. @BubbaWallace @Daniel_SuarezG @Blaney @BuffDudes @ScooterMagruder https://t.co/ZETGEtugr4 — Whistle Sports (@WhistleSports) March 17, 2016
Bubba on Buescher: 'We're not shaking hands yet'
Darrell Wallace Jr. glad for week off after tussle with teammate RELATED: Weekend in GIFs includes Bubba cooling off Two days after Darrell Wallace Jr . lost a shot at his first NASCAR XFINITY Series win and $100,000 Dash 4 Cash prize at Dover International Speedway , he was still upset over the actions of Roush Fenway Racing teammate Chris Buescher . On Lap 191 of 200, Buescher made contact with Wallace's left front tire in a battle for the lead of the Buckle Up 200 presented by Click It or Ticket . The action sent Wallace to pit road, and he limped to a 17th-place finish while Buescher scored his second win in three starts, extending his points lead over Ty Dillon to 15 points. "There's always two sides to every story," Wallace told FOX Sports 1's "NASCAR Race Hub" on Monday. "Three sides I guess. "Just good thing there's a week off. Got time to settle down and refocus back on the big picture." When asked whether Wallace and Buescher shook hands on Monday, Wallace said, "No, we're not shaking hands yet." The NASCAR Next and Drive for Diversity alum who won the Coors Light Pole Award at Dover sits fifth in points, 49 behind Buescher as one of four RFR drivers in the top eight in the XFINITY Series. The series heads next to team owner Jack Roush's home track, Michigan International Speedway , for the Great Clips 250 benefiting Paralyzed Veterans of America on June 13 (1:30 p.m. ET, FOX Sports 1, MRN, SiriusXM). FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Buescher, Bubba address Iowa dust-up
WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. -- No big deal, says Bubba Wallace. Not an issue, according to teammate Chris Buescher . Move along folks, nothing to see here. There may or may not be some lingering ill feelings but no one’s talking payback. Last week’s late-race contact between the two Roush Fenway Racing drivers has been talked out and put away, both said Friday at Watkins Glen International, site of Saturday’s Zippo 200 (3 p.m. ET, NBCSN, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR). Buescher, the series points leader for the past 10 weeks, finished outside the top 10 for the fifth straight race after contact between he and Wallace sent the U.S. Cellular 250 at Iowa Speedway into overtime last Saturday night. Wallace, sixth in the points standings, finished 11th. "We’ve been able to show up competitively to a lot of these race tracks and our teammates have done the same thing," the 22-year-old Buescher said Friday morning at WGI. "We’ve been racing around each other a lot and it’s tough, but we’ve got it handled and we’re looking forward to getting into this stretch (of races). "We have it to the point where we’re going to be able to race around each other and not have to worry about anything." Wallace, 21, agreed. Any ill feelings or issues from last week’s finish, he said, have been dealt with and "the focus is on this weekend’s race." Saturday night’s incident was the second of the season for the RFR teammates. At Dover earlier this year, a similar late-race get-together left Wallace with a flat tire and Buescher celebrating in Victory Lane. A five-time winner in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, Wallace is still chasing his first XFINITY Series victory. Buescher has three career wins in XFINITY Series competition. "I love seeing that (conflict). I don’t know where it stands this week," JR Motorsports driver Regan Smith said Friday when asked about on-track issues among teammates. "It’s always difficult to race a teammate. We did it last year with myself and Chase (Elliott) running 1-2 for the majority of the season. You want to beat them for pride within your own shop but then you also know the picture, to gain points. … It doesn’t make it any easier. We’re all competitors and … selfish individuals." But, he added, "If it takes one ounce of focus away from what they’re doing, then it’s helping us out and I’m fine with that." Smith is fourth in points. Elliott, the defending series champion, is second.
Piano prank: Keselowski, Bubba fall for Junior's joke
Dale Earnhardt Jr ., piano protégé? That's exactly what he had his 1.35 million Twitter followers thinking for roughly 20 seconds during a short video he posted Monday. These piano lessons been paying off. pic.twitter.com/KNWfdAnC02 — Dale Earnhardt Jr . (@DaleJr) February 22, 2016 Those who watched the entire 23-second clip know that Junior was pulling quite the prank. Two very public followers of his, however, failed to catch on. @DaleJr kudos man. Tough to find the time to learn new things. — Brad Keselowski (@keselowski) February 22, 2016 @DaleJr dude! Hell yeah, that's awesome! Let's throw in some drums and screams.. — Darrell Wallace Jr (@BubbaWallace) February 22, 2016 Bubba quickly realized what he had done, though. @DaleJr damn... DA of the day award goes to me. — Darrell Wallace Jr (@BubbaWallace) February 22, 2016 Don't sweat it, Bubba . You've still got Blaney as your bandmate. WATCH: The Blaney, Bubba jam session