Bubba Wallace searches for speed after disappointing run

AVONDALE, AZ - MARCH 09: Darrell Wallace Jr., driver of the #43 Click n' Close Chevrolet, leads a pack of cars during practice for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series TicketGuardian 500 at ISM Raceway on March 9, 2018 in Avondale, Arizona. (Photo by Robert Laberge/Getty Images)

AVONDALE, Ariz. – After a spectacular runner-up finish in the season-opening DAYTONA 500, Darrell “Bubba” Wallace Jr. and the No. 43 Richard Petty Motorsports team have struggled to maintain that level of performance.

Wallace finished 32nd at Atlanta and 21st at Las Vegas. In Friday’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series qualifying at ISM Raceway, he posted the 27th fastest lap and failed to advance to the second round.

“That’s what we were trying to figure out, where our speed is,” Wallace said after the session. “A little frustrating, but it’s not where you start, it’s where you finish. I’m trying to beat that into my head, but we get so far behind when we start back here.

“We’ll go to work (Saturday) on our Click N’ Close Camaro ZL1 and see what we’ve got, try to make some gains and get everything going. Just a little bit of a bummer. Wish we could have obviously gave it a shot for the second round, but we’ll go have some fun (Saturday in practice).”