This year's Coca-Cola 600 was a five-hour thrill ride filled with highlights — or lowlights, depending on which driver you were. The on-track incident between Chase Elliott and Denny Hamlin grabbed a lot of attention, but the fiery exchange on pit road between Aric Almirola and Bubba Wallace during a red flag was the must-see off-track moment of the NASCAR Cup Series race.
Almirola and Wallace's mutual frustration — spawned by some hard racing during Stage 2 — wasn't cooled down by the rain, as the drivers exchanged heated words during the delay. The verbal altercation culminated in a shove from Almriola, the driver of the No. 10 Smithfield Ford for Stewart-Haas Racing, which later forced a NASCAR security guard to separate the two feuding drivers.
Following the 600-mile race at Charlotte Motor Speedway, both drivers gave a little clarity to the dust-up.
"Just early in the race, I felt like I was running him pretty clean and I felt like he was racing me pretty dirty," Almirola said. "He ran me all over the race track and then he got by me and he shot me the bird so I just went to ask him 'why are you throwing me the bird,' like I gave him a lot of room and gave him a lot of respect and he started mouthing off and just saying a lot of bad things and cussing."
"I got my point across. I let him know that it's not acceptable. He's not gonna cuss at me and shoot me the bird."
Wallace was a little more brusque with his post-race comments.
"Yeah. Passionate, man," said the 23XI Racing driver, adding that it was an instance of both he and Almirola racing hard for position.
Eventually, Bubba got the better finish at the end of the day, as he finished fourth while Almirola settled for 25th.
Neither driver was willing to go into the specifics of the heated argument, but both drivers willingly took jabs at each other in their post-race comments.
"Just typical Bubba," Almirola said. "He just runs his mouth. He's got a chip on his shoulder so it's all part of it."
Bubba returned the favor with his own fireback comment, saying, "when you walk around with two faces, that's what you get."
It's safe to say that Bubba and Aric won't be sharing Smithfield bacon and Dr. Pepper anytime soon.
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