HOMESTEAD, Fla. (AP) — Around the time that NASCAR drivers at Homestead-Miami Speedway were getting into their cars for Sunday's race, Bubba Wallace was having lunch.
His selection: “Humble Pie," he tweeted.
Wallace spent his Sunday at the 23XI team headquarters in North Carolina, serving his one-race suspension for deliberately spinning reigning Cup champion Kyle Larson at Las Vegas last weekend in what NASCAR called a “dangerous act” of retaliation before confronting him afterward.
Denny Hamlin, one of the 23XI team owners along with Michael Jordan, said Saturday that Wallace would be spending the race “back at the shop, kind of monitoring, similar to what Kurt does."
Kurt Busch — 23XI's other full-time driver — has not raced since being concussed three months ago and recently announced he will not compete full-time in 2023. His car was being driven Sunday by Ty Gibbs, and Wallace's car was being driven by John Hunter Nemechek.
“It's not ideal for 23XI, but it kind of gives these young guys an opportunity to go out there and prove themselves," Hamlin said.
Like Hamlin said, Wallace was in a monitoring role. The photo with the tweet showed him seated before multiple screens, two showing scenes from Homestead and a third showing statistics.
“Ready to sit back and help @23XIRacing get it done today,” Wallace wrote.
Wallace surely didn't like everything that he saw, since it wasn't an ideal start for Nemechek.
He was running fourth when he made contact with the wall 29 laps into Sunday's race, bringing out the first caution flag of the day. He spun across the track, careening into another wall before bouncing to a stop. The car was not heavily damaged.
Wallace is expected to be back in his car when NASCAR goes to Martinsville next week for the next-to-last race of the season.
“We've all done tough stuff in our career that has defined us," Hamlin said. “How you return from it is what will define him."
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