Long Violent History: NASCAR Has Long Past with Violence and Inconsistency

Credit: Debbie Ross for Skirts & Scuffs

The topic of Bubba Wallace apparently wrecking Kyle Larson in an immediate response of payback on Sunday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway remains a hot topic three days later. Additionally, Wallace walked on a “hot track” to approach the defending NASCAR Cup Series champion to show his displeasure for being pushed into the wall at the track, but was not penalized for that.

What Wallace was penalized and issued a one-race suspension for is something that has been done in the not-so-distant past. While NASCAR issued Wallace the penalty, there are several drivers this year alone who were awarded no suspension or probation penalties for similar incidents. This most recent decision by NASCAR will remove Wallace from his No. 45 Toyota at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

The altercation involves last year’s NASCAR Cup Series champion and can be traced back to Larson for an incident that is very similar on the racetrack, but the complete opposite in punishment. 

Larson is possibly the first this year in the NextGen car who used his No. 5 Chevrolet to clip the right rear of another competitor, which occurred during the Busch Clash at the L.A. Coliseum. He didn’t receive a suspension, fine, or probation as a result of his actions. 

Many drivers followed with various forms of payback, including Wallace’s longtime friend Ryan Blaney. Blaney waited until after the checkered flag at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course to deliver his retaliation to Trackhouse Racing driver Daniel Suarez. 

No penalty was issued to Blaney. 

If you turn your calendar back about four years, Martin Truex, Jr. showed his displeasure with seven-time champion Jimmie Johnson after the checkered flag had waved for the Bank of America Roval 400 at the Charlotte Motor Speedway road course. 

No penalty was issued for Truex either. 

But we have spent the past three days since Wallace’s actions occurred tossing the blame solely on him, when it should have been on each and every driver that has done the same thing or performed acts that are equally dangerous. We have all talked about how unsafe and more injury-prone this car is, but Wallace shouldn’t have to shoulder the blame when there are other drivers who deserved the same penalty. 

As I mentioned earlier, Wallace exited his car and walked on the apron of the 1.5-mile track to approach Larson. NASCAR could have additionally penalized him for that under the NASCAR Rulebook for failing to stay in his car and/or walking onto the track (a rule the sanctioning body implemented in 2014.)  

But NASCAR didn’t do that. They instead penalized Wallace for doing the exact same thing Larson had done at the beginning of the season, which is just as inconsistent as penalizing Matt Kenseth for wrecking Joey Logano, but failing to penalize Larson at the beginning of this year.   

NASCAR has had multiple chances to use drivers as an example for similar incidents this year. But let’s not beat around the bush; they have failed to use drivers as an example when and where it matters.   

Whether they use Wallace to set a precedent is yet to be seen, but I hate to think of the example they will set for future generations if they do not.


Before she even knew what NASCAR was, Courtney watched the races while sitting in her father’s lap. When she attended her first race at Talladega, her love for the sport grew even stronger.

In addition to her Trackin’ Trucks column for Skirts and Scuffs, Courtney runs her own blog, ChasingtheScoreboard.com. She is a receptionist for a daycare headquarters and enjoys attending country music concerts whenever one is in town.
Long Violent History: NASCAR Has Long Past with Violence and Inconsistency  Long Violent History: NASCAR Has Long Past with Violence and Inconsistency Reviewed by Courtney Horn on Wednesday, October 19, 2022 Rating: 5