In the thick of the fight for one of the final NASCAR playoff spots, Bubba Wallace is starting to grow a little impatient with his boss and fellow competitor Denny Hamlin.
Early in Sunday's Cook Out 400 at Richmond, Hamlin's two drivers — Wallace and Tyler Reddick — looked strong as the pair finished first and second in the opening stage. However, when it came down to the third and final stage, Hamlin was in his own bubble, as he was more focused on winning the race himself.
Hamlin went so far as to not give Wallace any space while the two battled for position. Hamlin, who has pointed out that he will do whatever it takes to win this season, seems to have ruffled feathers with his own driver. It does not come as a surprise, but according to the NBC broadcast, Wallace wasn't too happy. The broadcast, however, never actually reported what Wallace said by over the radio.
Wallace and Hamlin had plenty of close battles for position during Sunday's race. Here is a glimpse at some of their on-track battle for the fifth position.
Sunday July 30, 2023 4:10PM CDT: The NASCAR #CookOut400 at the 3/4 mile Richmond Raceway in Richmond Virginia 23222. #23 Bubba Wallace was in 1st place, pitted under green, came out 12th and at lap 242 is in 4th. His boss #11 Denny Hamlin is in 5th. pic.twitter.com/E7a7MyV7F7
— Born Again Joe ??? (@BornAgainJoe3) July 30, 2023
Wallace looked to have plenty of speed, and he, Reddick and Hamlin all looked like the best cars through the first half of Sunday's race. But a number of issues late in the race ended up pushing Wallace and Reddick farther down the leaderboard.
As for Hamlin, he was able to fight his way to a runner-up finish.
Wallace had his best day ever at Richmond Raceway, as he was able to pick up valuable stage points and better cushion himself above the playoff cutoff.
He entered @RichmondRaceway +27.
He exits @RichmondRaceway +54.
— NASCAR (@NASCAR) July 31, 2023
Do Bubba Wallace and Denny Hamlin Have Beef?
Trouble could be brewing for Wallace and Hamlin. It was bound to happen, given that Hamlin is racing with much more aggressiveness. This will be far from the last incident between the two, especially with how good both drivers have historically performed at Michigan International Raceway, the next stop for NASCAR.
It may not be long before frustration boils over for Wallace. He has acted on his frustrations plenty of times before, including last year in Las Vegas when he took out Kyle Larson. Denny might be his boss, but you don't want to have Bubba on your bad side no matter who you are.
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