Bubba Wallace finished off NASCAR’s three-week western swing with his strongest effort of the season; a third-place finish in Saturday’s NASCAR XFINITY Series race at Auto Club Speedway. Wallace ran the final 20 laps inside the top-five and powered his No. 6 Ford EcoBoost Mustang into the third position on the final lap of the race to score his fourth career top-five finish in the NASCAR XFINITY Series.
“This is a great day for us,” said Wallace after the race. “Coming off practice yesterday we were kind of up in the air about what we wanted to do to this car, but we all put our heads together and really dug deep to pull out the speed in this car because it definitely didn’t have it. To come out of here third, I wouldn’t have told you that yesterday, so it’s a good day for us.”
Wallace started the race 13th after struggling in qualifying and during much of Friday’s practice sessions. But the team never gave up and by the fourth lap Wallace had moved his Mustang inside the top 10.
“I don’t know where to begin,” added Wallace. “ We weren’t where we wanted to be in practice, but this was our better day of the two this week. I messed up in qualifying and that put us behind a little bit, but I knew we had a decent EcoBoost Ford Mustang to work with.”
Wallace moved his Ford inside the top-five on Lap 130 and would run the remainder of the race inside there. He moved to fourth in the closing stages of the event before passing the No. 20 car of Daniel Suarez on the final lap to finish third.
“We never gave up,” said Wallace in the media center after the race. “I just kept talking to myself and singing to myself – anything I could do to stay calm and not get into the wall. This is a great day for our Ford EcoBoost team.”
With the finish Wallace moves to eighth in the NASCAR XFINITY Series point standings, 48 points behind first place and 25 points outside of fifth position.
The NASCAR XFINITY Series will take a break for the next two weekends, before returning to action on Friday, April 9 at Texas Motor Speedway.