Bubba Wallace is the NASCAR driver who irked many on the right with his political comments and actions during 2020, particularly his support for Black Lives Matter. He also has been involved in a number of controversies in the sport over the past few years, such as an attempted fight.
Now he’s back in the news for how he behaved toward his friend, Ryan Blaney. Blaney won the NASCAR championship in Arizona a month ago but Wallace, instead of celebrating with him, flew directly home and wallowed in his disappointment.
Wallace wrote a post on his friend’s victory and why he flew home in silence rather than celebrating with him, saying, “Sitting here on the couch questioning everything. You would think your bud winning the championship would bring that joy and excitement back. Sadly it did not.”
Continuing, Wallace wrote, “It’s the helpless feeling that really kicks ya. My wife can see that I’m off but I don’t have the what or the why that I’m feeling this way to allow her to help me. To my peeps out there staring at a blank wall, I’m with you. Tomorrow is another day. Another opportunity. Keep after it.”
Blaney spoke on Thursday about the matter and what Bubba told him after the post, saying, “He called me a couple days later and I was like, “Man, I guess you winning the championship sent me into depression. Like congrats, but I don’t want to see that.”
Continuing, Blaney said, “It’s just kind of how Bubba is, you know he’s very hard on himself. He is just super hard on himself and you try to pick him up, right? The other night I told him ‘Man, you did great. Tenth in points, you made a good run in the playoffs.’ OK, he didn’t win, but I mean, he had a great year.”
Blaney then indirectly noted that he could tell Bubba, his friend, was jealous of his success, saying, “There’s seeing a friend do it, and it’s other part of seeing another young guy around your age. When Chase won the championship in 2020, he and I are really great friends, I was super happy for him. But I was also kind of jealous because I want to be that guy. I want to be in that spot.”
Continuing with that point, Blaney said, “You always kind of compare yourself to your age range. You get jealous of the guys in your group that have success. And I’m the same way. I think everyone is internally, whether they express it or not.”
Denny Hamlin, co-owner of the NASCAR team Bubba is on, noted that Bubba has stabilized somewhat from his antics, saying, “Where he was in 2022 was a lot tougher to manage because you were doing a lot of damage control. Maybe some things he’d say in the media, we’d have to do some work on the backend to make it right. Michael really helped in stepping in and voicing his opinion on it, and making Bubba step up as a leader.”
"*" indicates required fields