Kyle Petty thinks NASCAR should've thrown the book at Bubba Wallace for his actions last Sunday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Instead, officials slapped Wallace with a one-race suspension for purposely wrecking Kyle Larson at the South Point 400. Alongside Marty Snider and Kim Coon on Wednesday's episode of Motormouths, Petty argued that the 23XI Racing driver should've gotten an entire year's suspension for his retaliation against the 2021 Cup champ.
"He should have been suspended for the rest of the year. Rest of the year," Petty said.
"He drives for Denny Hamlin, who has been vocal about safety. His teammate (Kurt Busch), the only reason he's in the 45 car is his teammate's career was all but ended because of an accident in this car that the drivers have vocalized that it needs to be safer. He turns a guy in the right rear into the outside wall intentionally. Steering brake? That's laughable."
"Turns a guy into the outside wall, then walks across the race track. First, you intentionally wreck somebody. That's a suspension. He's walking across the race track and cars are going by him on both sides. That's not safe. That should be another suspension."
"Physically confronts a driver, shoves him. That's a physical confrontation. If I do that on the sidewalk, I'm in handcuffs somewhere. So, he physically confronts this driver, shoves an official, doesn't get in an ambulance, walks back to the pits, and then ... tells a fib. ... The lesson should be the rest of the year, just the rest of the year. That's just me."
"My man Matt Kenseth, who didn't speak to me for almost a year after his accident with Joey Logano (at Martinsville in 2015) got two races, so you can turn a guy right side, driver side into the wall at 180 miles an hour, and you get one (race)."
NASCAR suspended Wallace on Tuesday for intentionally wrecking Larson on lap 94 of the Vegas playoff race, and then for later getting out of his car and shoving Larson on the infield grass. Officials found that Wallace was in violation of Sections 4.3.A and 4.4.C & E of the NASCAR Member Code of Conduct laid out in the NASCAR Rule Book. Rule 4.4.C specifically mentions "intentionally wrecking or spinning another vehicle, whether or not that vehicle is removed from Competition as a result." As Petty argued, Wallace decision to exit his car before a safety worker arrived and walk down the racetrack while cars were still driving by should have also been penalizing infractions. Yet, they were not.
Meanwhile, Kyle Busch's crew chief, jackman, and tire changer were each suspended for four races due to a loose wheel. That just doesn't sit right to Petty.
"They'd didn't leave that wheel off intentionally. They didn't. What did [Wallace] was intentional," Petty continued.
"He can say the steering broke, but he never lifted off the accelerator at the same time he drove back down the race track. This was an unprofessional move. What we saw out of Kyle Larson was a champion and a professional reaction to the situation, the way he backed away from Bubba ... and the things he had to say."
"What bothered me is, I have driven race cars and to get hooked in the right rear, it is so freaking intentional. You have no recourse, no chance to recover. At that point in time, Kyle Larson is along for the ride. The way the car spun, the way it hit (Christopher Bell's) car, it goes driver side in.
"You've seen Kurt Busch and we've seen Alex Bowman, they backed in and they're not here right now. They're not driving because of concussion. This could have been the season-ending, if not a career-ending, accident for him."
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