Bubba Wallace and Austin Dillon brought the fireworks to Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on Sunday night.
The duo found themselves jostling for position often during NASCAR’s preseason Clash at the Coliseum, routinely going back and forth at the front of the pack.
With just 10 laps to go, Dillon and Wallace were in prime position to make a run at the checkered flag. At least until Dillon rear-ended Wallace, spinning the No. 23 car out and ending Wallace’s chances.
Bubba Wallace goes around after a battle with Austin Dillon! https://t.co/ob15TaTQ2X pic.twitter.com/DP0DTd7BlY
— FOX: NASCAR (@NASCARONFOX) February 6, 2023
Wallace didn’t seem pleased by the maneuver at the time, and after the race, he took to Twitter to offer candid thoughts on Dillon’s move. Let’s just say subtlety is not one of Wallace’s best traits.
W3ll that was fun, till it wasn’t. Hell of an effort.
Gonna be a great year!!!
— Bubba Wallace (@BubbaWallace) February 6, 2023
The 23XI Racing driver made sure to make his feelings known on the track as well, veering his whip into Dillon’s before the ensuing restart.
Bubba letting Austin Dillon know he isn’t happy pic.twitter.com/sJCjNV87Uu
— Rubbin is Racing (@rubbinisracing) February 6, 2023
Both drivers had their say right after the dust settled. Unsurprisingly, they had differing views of the incident.
MORE: NASCAR Clash at the Coliseum results
“The No. 3 just never tried to make a corner, he just always would run into my left rear,” Wallace said. “I got run into the fence by him down the straightaway on that restart, so I gave him a shot. And then we get dumped. It sucks.”
Bubba Wallace talks about the contact with Austin Dillon as well as his own pass of Denny Hamlin. pic.twitter.com/LQEx5YmSdI
— Bob Pockrass (@bobpockrass) February 6, 2023
Dillon said that his action was a consequence of the nature of Sunday’s race. Numerous caution flags broke up the rhythm of the event. In those conditions, Dillon said, collisions were bound to happen.
“I chose the restart there behind Martin (Truex Jr.) thinking that if we could get off (Turn) 2, then I could just race,” Dillon said. “But it just doesn’t go that way. You’re just getting beat. . . . He was probably pretty frustrated at that point.”
.@RCRracing‘s Kyle Busch and Austin Dillon discuss what it’s like having Richard Childress on the radio as well as any fallout with Bubba Wallace moving forward.
(via @m_massie22) pic.twitter.com/Sxdz7I1wxR
— Frontstretch (@Frontstretch) February 6, 2023
There are certainly worse things than getting wrecked in an exhibition race. But given Wallace and Dillon’s history, don’t be surprised to see tensions reignite during the NASCAR Cup Series season.