Runner-up finish not worth celebrating for Bubba Wallace

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BROOKLYN, Mich. — Bubba Wallace wasn’t in the mood to celebrate his fourth consecutive top-10 finish. Instead, he lamented what might have been after placing second Sunday to Kevin Harvick at Michigan International Speedway.

Wallace had a near-perfect weekend, winning the pole and finishing second, but he needs a win to make the playoffs after a variety of issues this season have derailed the 23XI Racing team in several races. 

So, Wallace wasn’t in the mood to rejoice in his best finish since placing second in the season-opening Daytona 500. 

“Second doesn’t get you in the playoffs,” Wallace said. “This is way worse than Daytona. Daytona, we kind of just fell into that one. This one we had the car. 

“Got behind a little bit on adjustments in the middle of the race. I didn’t think we were going to get back up there. It was so hard to pass. Aero sensitivity in these cars is just nuts. Just had to grind and stay hungry and get us up there, and next thing you know I made the wrong choice on a restart.”

The final restart with 35 laps to go was the key point of the race. 

“Took the top there on the restart,” Wallace told NBC Sports’ Parker Kligerman. “Thought I could hang with (Harvick), and just got to racing (Kyle Larson) and (Joey Logano). (Logano) did a good job of getting another Ford contract, helping a Ford win.”

Harvick explained what happened on that restart: “I knew I needed to drive it in the corner far enough. (Larson) had given me such a good push. I had a car length, and I think Bubba got about up to my door. 

“I knew that if we can just get off Turn 2, we’d have a chance. And then they were side-by-side. We drove down into Turn 1 on the next lap, and I don’t know what happened. They all wound up all goofed up down there.”

Larson explained what happened: “(Logano) got to (Wallace’s) inside. We were all kind of choked down. And Bubba just ran in really hard to try and clear me, and I think he got loose. His air got me loose. I washed up the track, and that was the end of our race.”

That was the key for Harvick.

“I just was hoping that (Wallace) didn’t cycle out to be the second car because then we were going to have a pretty constant race on our hands,” he said. “But the more they raced, the further we got away.” 

There weren’t enough laps left for Wallace to catch Harvick.

“The rule here is … not race side-by-side for too long to let people get away, especially the leader,” Wallace said. “Me, Logano and Larson, we were all going for it. No one was going to lift in (Turn) 1. I don’t know what happened to (Larson). Me and Logano came out and (Logano) got in front of me. 

“If we were able to clear him at that moment, maybe we could have made a run. Just stayed too long behind Logano.”

Even so, many people were telling Wallace he had done well.

But the words did little to soothe Wallace.

He said “deep, deep, deep down” such comments mean much to him, but Wallace added: “I have enough voices in my head that are telling me otherwise.”

Portland Xfinity race results, driver points

Portland Xfinity results
Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images

Cole Custer went from fourth to first on the overtime restart when the top three cars made contact and went on to win Saturday’s Xfinity Series race at Portland International Raceway. Custer is the 10th different winner in 13 races this season.

MORE: Portland Xfinity race results

MORE: Driver points after Portland Xfinity race

JR Motorsports took the next three spots: Justin Allgaier placed second, Sam Mayer was third and Josh Berry was fourth. Austin Hill completed the top five.

John Hunter Nemechek remains the points leader after 13 races. He has a 14-point lead on Hill. Nemechek leads Allgaier by 44 points.

Cole Custer wins Xfinity race at Portland in overtime


Cole Custer held off Justin Allgaier at the finish to win Saturday’s Xfinity Series race in overtime at Portland International Raceway. It is Custer’s first victory of the season.

JR Motorsports placed second, third and fourth with Allgaier, Sam Mayer and Josh Berry. Austin Hill finished fifth.

MORE: Race results, driver points

Custer went from fourth to first on the overtime restart when Parker Kligerman, who restarted third, attempted to pass Allgaier, who was leading. Sheldon Creed was on the outside of Allgaier. All three cars made contact entering Turn 1, allowing Custer to slip by. Creed finished seventh. Kligerman placed 14th.

Custer won the second stage when John Hunter Nemechek made contact with Creed’s car while racing for the lead on the final lap of the stage. The contact spun Creed and Custer inched by Nemechek at the line.

Early in the final stage, Creed gained revenge with contact that spun Nemechek, who went on to finish 10th. A few laps later, Nemechek and Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Sammy Smith had issues. Smith spun Nemechek. After getting back around, Nemechek quickly caught Smith and turned into Smith’s car, damaging it.

STAGE 1 WINNER: Sheldon Creed

STAGE 2 WINNER: Cole Custer

WHO HAD A GOOD RACE: Despite the contact on the overtime restart, runner-up Justin Allgaier managed to score his fourth consecutive top-three finish. … Sam Mayer’s third-place finish is his best on a road course. … Austin Hill’s fifth-place finish gives him four consecutive top-five results.

WHO HAD A BAD RACE: Daniel Hemric finished 33rd after a fire in his car. … Riley Herbst placed 32nd after an engine issue. After opening the season with six top 10s in a row, Herbst has gone seven races in a row without a top 10.

NEXT: The series competes June 10 at Sonoma Raceway (8 p.m. ET on FS1).

Truck race results at WWT Raceway: Grant Enfinger wins


Grant Enfinger took the lead when the leaders wrecked in the final laps and held off the field in overtime to win Saturday’s Craftsman Truck Series race at World Wide Technology Raceway.

It is Enfinger’s second win in the last five races. He also collected a $50,000 bonus for winning the Triple Truck Challenge.

MORE: Truck race results

MORE: Driver points after WWT Raceway

Christian Eckes finished second and was followed by Stewart Friesen, Carson Hocevar and Chase Purdy.

Ty Majeski and Zane Smith wrecked while racing for the lead with six laps to go. Majeski, running on the inside of Smith, slid up the track and clipped Smith’s truck. Both hit the wall. That put Enfinger in the lead.

Smith finished 20th. Majeski placed 30th.

STAGE 1 WINNER: Grant Enfinger

STAGE 2 WINNER: Stewart Friesen

WHO HAD A GOOD RACE: Grant Enfinger’s victory is his fourth top 10 in the last five races. … Carson Hocevar’s fourth-place finish is his fourth consecutive top-five result. … Stewart Friesen’s third-place finish moved him into a playoff spot with four races left in the regular season. … Matt DiBenedetto‘s sixth-place finish is his third consecutive top 10. … Jesse Love finished ninth in his series debut.

WHO HAD A BAD RACE: Ty Majeski had a chance to take the points lead with series leader Corey Heim out because of illness, but Majeski’s 30th-place finish after running at the front most of the day, leaves him behind Heim. … Hailie Deegan finished 32nd after contact sent her truck into the wall hard. … After finishing a career-high third last week at Charlotte, Dean Thompson placed 34th Saturday due to an engine issue.

NEXT: The series races June 23 at Nashville Superspeedway (8 p.m. ET on FS1)

Xfinity starting lineup at Portland: Sheldon Creed wins pole


Sheldon Creed scored his first career Xfinity Series pole by taking the top spot for Saturday’s race at Portland International Raceway.

Creed, making his 50th career series start, earned the pole with a lap of 95.694 mph on the 1.97-mile road course.

MORE: Portland Xfinity starting lineup

Cole Custer will start second with a lap of 95.398 mph. He is followed by Josh Berry (94.242 mph), John Hunter Nemechek (95.127) and Charlotte winner Justin Allgaier (94.897). Road racing specialist Jordan Taylor, driving for Kaulig Racing, qualified sixth at 94.772 mph.

The green flag is scheduled to wave 4:46 p.m. ET Saturday on FS1.