Wal­lace has few re­grets over splash­ing Bow­man

The Fresno Bee (Sunday) - - Sports - BY DAN GELSTON

Bubba Wal­lace has few re­grets over his splas­hand-go in­ci­dent with Alex Bow­man.

Wal­lace met with NASCAR of­fi­cials on Thurs­day in the wake of toss­ing his drink at Bow­man af­ter the race ended last week at Char­lotte Mo­tor Speed­way. Wal­lace said his frus­tra­tion stemmed from pre­vi­ous run-ins with Bow­man on the track and again early in the race on the Char­lotte Ro­val. Wal­lace, who drives for Richard Petty Rac­ing, was not pun­ished.

“I’d been run over mul­ti­ple times by that car and I’d had enough,” Wal­lace said Satur­day at Dover.

Bow­man des­per­ately tried to avoid elim­i­na­tion from the play­offs last week at Char­lotte. He wrecked his fast car in the clos­ing minute of the fi­nal prac­tice ses­sion, spun on the open­ing lap, and de­lib­er­ately spun Wal­lace be­cause he didn’t like Wal­lace flip­ping him the bird.

On a day with scorch­ing tem­per­a­tures, Bow­man climbed from his car and slumped to the ground, de­hy­drated and over­come by the heat. Wal­lace found him sit­ting next to his car, sur­rounded by NASCAR’s med­i­cal di­rec­tor and Jeff Gor­don, and an­grily splashed liq­uid in Bow­man’s face af­ter a brief ver­bal ex­change. Gor­don and the med­i­cal di­rec­tor were splashed.

“I re­gret get­ting the med­i­cal staff, Jeff Gor­don, (and oth­ers), get­ting them in­volved, get­ting them soaked,” Wal­lace said.

Wal­lace said he texted Gor­don hours af­ter the in­ci­dent and even­tu­ally the other by­standers.

“If he was just sit­ting down try­ing to catch his breath and no one was around, he would have been OK,” Wal­lace said. “I agree with the fans. Bring­ing Jeff Gor­don (and oth­ers) in­volved, that’s where we crossed the line there. It could have been han­dled at a dif­fer­ent time. Emo­tions run high.”

Bow­man fin­ished sec­ond in the race to ad­vance to the sec­ond round of the play­offs.

“I un­der­stand it. Peo­ple are mad in­side and out­side the race car,” Bow­man said. “I didn’t think it was as big of deal as every­body made it out to be.”

Bow­man said he hasn’t talked with Wal­lace about the in­ci­dent and down­played any po­ten­tial for re­tal­i­a­tion on the track.

But it was good for a laugh at Dover: Corey LaJoie play­fully tossed wa­ter on Bow­man dur­ing a me­dia scrum.

HAM­LIN WINS DOVER POLE:

Denny Ham­lin turned a lap of 166.984 mph at Dover to start the sec­ond round of the play­offs on the pole.

Ham­lin will lead the field to green in his 500th ca­reer NASCAR Cup Se­ries start. He has never won on the mile con­crete track in 27 races dat­ing to 2006. He has only four top-five fin­ishes, did not fin­ish four times and his av­er­age fin­ish is just 17.5. He fin­ished 21st in the No. 11 Toy­ota in the May race at Dover.

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