After a forgettable All-Star Race evening at Bristol Motor Speedway, Bubba Wallace was probably as ready as anyone to get to Texas for this weekend’s event. He certainly channeled his energy appropriately, as the No. 43 Chevrolet captured the 14th finishing position.
The Texas sun was scorching, but it wasn’t the only thing on the high banks featuring a blinding brightness. Sporting an unmissable neon green Chevrolet featuring new sponsor Cash App, Wallace ran well for the majority of the race. He spent several laps contending for a top-10 spot and may have claimed one at the finish had the caution flag not waved, a point he reiterated after the race.
“A top-15 day for the Richard Petty Motorsports No. 43 Cash App Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE team at the Texas Motor Speedway — a long, hot day that’s for sure.” Wallace said. “Proud of the efforts from our team. Cash App was on the car for the first time, so that was cool. We got Cash App a really good first finish. I thought we had a chance there. If that last caution had not come out, we maybe could have held on for a top-10 finish. But all-in-all, a great effort. Good bounce back from our last two weeks, and we’ll just keep pushing to get our cars better. Shoutout again to Cash App for jumping on-board. Being a part of the sport, how cool is that? Get them their first top-15 finish and go onto the Kansas Speedway. We’ll see what we got there.”
Just in case Michael McDowell hadn’t seen enough of Wallace’s bumper at Bristol, he got to look at it a little more at the conclusion of Sunday’s race. McDowell finished right behind his All-Star Race adversary in 15th place.
In case you missed it, Wallace wound up wrecked after contact with McDowell during the qualifying race for the all-star event. Making the incident more frustrating is that had he finished with his car intact, Wallace would have likely claimed the fan vote and advanced to the main show. Seething, Wallace took his damaged bumper and left it at the door of McDowell’s hauler. It wasn’t all bad though, as the bumper will be auctioned off for charity.
Corey Lajoie also had a notable day, as he came home 16th. The result equals his best since the season opener at Daytona and could provide some much needed momentum in what has been a disappointing 2020 campaign thus far.
The Xfinity Series put in 300 miles on Saturday at Texas and several underdog teams landed solid finishes. Brandon Brown led the way with his 10th-place result, his fourth such finish of 2020. 11th went to Jeremy Clements, 12th was Jeffrey Earnhardt, David Starr finished 13th, Jesse Little picked up 14th and Tommy Joe Martins claimed the final slot in the top 15.
The NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series teams also raced on Saturday. Derek Kraus led the underfunded contingent with his 11th-place finish. Joining Kraus in the top half of the field was Austin Wayne Self, who picked up a 14th-place finish in his home state.
What to Expect
The NASCAR Cup, Xfinity, and Truck teams all head to Kansas Speedway this week. The Cup teams will take to the track first on Thursday night. Historically speaking, Kansas hasn’t shown a whole lot of favor to the underdogs. However, John Hunter Nemechek did grab an NXS win there, so he could be a potential surprise. Still, it might be a long day for the drivers from the other side of the garage.
As for the NXS teams that will race on Saturday, I have high expectations for Clements. He started and finished sixth in last year’s event and has shown himself to be plenty capable of running well on race day.
It’ll be a doubleheader for the trucks, who will race back to back Friday night and again Saturday afternoon. Jordan Anderson might sneak away with a strong finish in one, or perhaps both, of those races. Anderson finished 13th last year at Kansas and could potentially contend for another solid result.
Look Who’s Talking
.@graygaulding finished p25 and set a new bar for sponsor activation by actually toasting himself like a panini for much of the race, best finish of season and his first top-25 since 2018
— The Racing Underdogs (@RacingUnderdogs) July 19, 2020
— Timmy Hill (@TimmyHillRacer) July 19, 2020
Really tough one to swallow… Hate this for my team and those I got into trying to get to pit road too late. Will just learn from this and move forward. I can’t thank @StarcomRacing and @Permatex enough for all their hard work and support. Onto @kansasspeedway pic.twitter.com/HEIcMIwvFf
— Quin Houff (@P1_Houff) July 19, 2020
Apparently my seat pad got so soaked with sweat yesterday it turned into a broiler underneath me for the final 130ish laps of the race. Paying for it today. Couple 3 inch wide blisters across my backside that I hope get healed up before Saturday 😬 (not showing y’all the pics)
— Tommy Joe Martins (@TommyJoeMartins) July 19, 2020