Bubba Wallace was unable to transform his first-ever NASCAR cup series pole start to a victory last Saturday at Michigan International Speedway.
Wallace started on the pole following a dominating performance at the FireKeepers Casino 400 qualifying at Michigan.
The 28-year-old 23XI driver showed emotions after a runner-up P2 finish at Michigan behind eventually winner Kevin Harvick Wallce could be seen during his post race interview shedding tears.
Bubba has been on the receiving end of persistent uncalled criticism weekly from fans that don’t take satisfaction in seeing Wallce racing in NASCAR.
JR Motorsports owner and NASCAR legend Dale Earnhardt Jr. came in defense of Bubba Wallce by calling out fans to appreciate the 23XI driver.
Earnhardt Jr. singled out the emotional interview given by Wallace last weekend at Michigan P2 where he was very passionate and unfortunate.
“We saw an emotional interview from Bubba Wallace. I feel like as hard as it was to see Bubba in that emotion — of course, when you’re watching somebody feel that way, you can’t help but go, man, I want to put my arm around that guy and say, ‘Hey, maybe this is the point of view you should take,’ Dale Earnhardt Jr. said.
“But I hope that it was a moment for everyone else to be a witness to the pressure that this guy is under. Because man there wasn’t anything fake about that. That was as genuine as someone could be in a moment like that. I am hoping that the people that put a lot of pressure on Bubba and give him a lot of time and feed him a lot of criticism, particularly online.
"I failed everybody."
— NASCAR on NBC (@NASCARonNBC) August 7, 2022
He still needs a win to qualify for the Cup Series playoffs after several issues this season have derailed the 23XI Racing team on numerous occasions.
I hope that those people can see really what this guy is dealing with on a daily basis. I felt pretty bad for him, man,” Earnhardt Jr. added.
“You could say he had a good enough car to win the race. You got to look at those things and go, ‘Well, you’re close. Not I failed everybody.’ He felt so small. He should take a moment and go — and I think he probably has after the last couple of days — where you go, look, we are close. We are right there. We’re on the threshold of getting that win at a non-plate race track,” Dale Jr. concluded.
Bubba has four consecutive Top 10 finishes for the first time in his Cup Career. He finished second in the season opener at the Daytona 500.