Bubba Wallace, driver of the No. 6 Globe Life Ford Mustang, ran up front throughout the NASCAR XFINITY Series event at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Saturday afternoon, leading a handful of laps, before a cut-tire from contact with the outside retaining wall sent the Roush Fenway Racing Ford sideways in the closing laps. Wallace ultimately finished 28th.
“We had such a fast Globe Life Mustang on the long run,” said Wallace. “It was great to get up front and get Globe Life their first laps led in NASCAR competition - that was pretty cool. I’m proud of all of the work my guys put into this Ford this weekend. We were really tight early but (crew chief) Seth (Barbour) made some great adjustments and we were able to move through the field. I hate that we didn’t get the finish we deserved but this team never gives up and we will get after it in Dover.”
Wallace took the green for the 200-Lap event from the 14th position after advancing to the second round of knockout qualifying on Saturday morning. In the early laps the driver of the Globe Life Mustang pressed forward, improving five positions to ninth before the second caution of the day came out on Lap 16. Wallace maintained his top-10 track position until a tight handling condition on the exit of the corner shuffled the Roush Fenway driver out of the top 10 and back to 13th by the completion of Stage 1 on Lap 45.
In between stages, crew chief Seth Barbour took a big swing at adjustments in the hopes of improving the handling of the Globe Life Mustang. The changes worked as Wallace gained four positions on the opening lap of Stage 2 and a total of six positions throughout the course of the stage; ending the second stage in the sixth position. As a result, Wallace also earned four bonus stage points toward the end of the race total.
Wallace continued to charge forward when the final stage began, moving from sixth to second before the second lap of the stage was completed. The driver of the Globe Life Mustang’s climb forward did not stop there as Wallace moved into the race lead for the first time following a Lap 108 restart. After holding onto the lead for three laps, Wallace slid back to the fourth position and maintained that track position until a Lap 158 caution set up another round of pit stops for the race leaders.
An issue on the left side of the Roush Fenway Ford during the pit stop shuffled Wallace back to 11th for the ensuing restart on Lap 163. Despite the loss of track position Wallace rejoined the top 10 on Lap 176 and remained there until contact with the outside retaining wall following a Lap 191 restart cut a tire and sent the Globe Life Ford into a spin through the third and fourth corner.
After pitting for repairs, Wallace returned to the track in the closing laps to take the checkered flag in 28th.