Bubba Wallace estimates he had 7 to 8 seconds to think before his No. 43 Chevrolet slammed into the Turn 1 wall at Pocono Raceway on Sunday.
What crossed Wallace’s mind in that short time?
“You literally think, ‘Am I going to die? Am I going to get knocked out?” the Richard Petty Motorsports driver said on this week’s episode of Ryan Blaney’s “Glass Case of Emotion” podcast.
Wallace walked away from the wreck, which was a result of one of his brake rotors giving out. That sent Wallace’s car shooting left through the grass on the inside of Turn 1 and toward the outside wall, where the right side of the car took the hit.
“I thought I was going to hit head-on,” Wallace said. “My facial expression, I wish you could have seen it. I told (girlfriend) Amanda, ‘Yeah, you jumped around the corner and scared the hell out of me and I’m like, ‘Oh!’ This one was like petrified. I didn’t know if I was going to die or not.”
Wallace said if he had to do it over again, he would have angled his car right into the outside wall to avoid such a hard impact.
Wallace then explained why it took so long for him to lower the safety net on his driver-side window.
“I hit and it knocked the breath out of me,” Wallace said. “The spotter (Freddie Kraft) is like, ‘Hey, are you all right?’ I’m like, ‘Yeaaaah, I’m fine.’ Then he asked again and it was a matter of 10 seconds. I said, ‘Yes, I’m good.’ Then I finally gathered my breath and I’m like, ‘All right, let’s get out.’ Not knowing that (letting down the window net) is the international sign (that I’m OK).”
Watch that conversation below.