Bubba Wallace’s return to Pocono ends with engine failure

The anticipation Bubba Wallace felt on returning to the track where he made his Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series debut last season soon turned to disappointment when the engine in his No. 43 Richard Petty Motorsports Chevrolet expired after 108 laps, the result of a missed shift.

That terminal failure followed a pit road speeding violation that forced Wallace to serve a pass-through penalty, putting the prospect of a strong finish in jeopardy.

“I made a mistake on pit road speeding again here at Pocono,” Wallace said ruefully after steering his car to the garage. “We took the wave-around, and we were on older stuff (tires).  The No. 95 (Kasey Kahne) was a little bit better than us, well, for sure better. I just tucked in behind him so we didn’t waste too much time and kind of did like a long shift and gave up a little bit of time.”

That led to the costly miscue.

“I did it earlier in the race around some cars and had no trouble with it. I just had too much weight and pulled to the left and went from third (gear) to second. I really hate it, and I have never done it before. It’s a bummer. She screamed pretty loud for a second and that was it. It didn’t re-fire after that.

“(Crew chief) Drew (Blickensderfer) came up with a good strategy to make us rebound from that penalty that we had, and I thought we were going to set ourselves up for a decent finish. That’s what we needed. We kind of struggled with some front grip all weekend long, but we started hitting on it right there at the end.”

About Greg Engle 7420 Articles
Greg is a published award winning sportswriter who spent 23 years combined active and active reserve military service, much of that in and around the Special Operations community. Greg is the author of "The Nuts and Bolts of NASCAR: The Definitive Viewers' Guide to Big-Time Stock Car Auto Racing" and has been published in major publications across the country including the Los Angeles Times, the Cleveland Plain Dealer and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He was also a contributor to Chicken Soup for the NASCAR Soul, published in 2010, and the Christmas edition in 2016. He wrote as the NASCAR, Formula 1, Auto Reviews and National Veterans Affairs Examiner for Examiner.com and has appeared on Fox News. He holds a BS degree in communications, a Masters degree in psychology and is currently a PhD candidate majoring in psychology. He is currently the weekend Motorsports Editor for Autoweek.