NASCAR Cup drivers hit the Nashville Superspeedway on Friday for the practice session for the upcoming Ally 400, the first race after the 2022 regular season, mid-season break. The Next-Gen cars return to the track and saw an unusual finish as the No:23 Toyota Camry of 23X1 Racing driver Bubba Wallace topped the time charts in the practice session, for the first time this season, as he was the only driver to break the 161 MPH mark in the race, finishing in the top with the speed of 161.708mph.
The 2022 season so far has been a roller coaster ride for the sole full-time African American driver in the grid, as he is yet to perform at the level he is expected to reach with the car he is provided with consistency through all the time it’s not him to blame. He has come close to a win two times this season only to see his dreams crumbling in the last minute and most of his dominant runs were cut short by the pit stop mishaps from his team. The practice session P1 gives something to hope for in the coming races for Wallace.
The No:18 JGR Toyota Camry of veteran kyle Busch came the second ahead of Tyler Reddick, the fastest chevy of the session who finished P3. Defending champion Kyle Larson finished P4 ahead of teammate William Byron at P5. Bubba Wallace’s 23X1 teammate Kurt Busch finished the session at P6 and Ryan Blaney, the No:12 Team Penske Racing driver finished at P8 as the fastest Ford at the session.
Find out what Bubba Wallace had to say about topping the charts in Nashville
Bubba Wallace acknowledged that without any doubt he is proud of his team for giving him such a fast Camry which was able to produce such results something him, his team needed the most. He pointed out that it just has been bad luck after bad luck for them every week as he pointed out that they were the first car to go out two weeks before at Sonoma ending their race early. Bubba Wallace added that though practice doesn’t mean anything he takes the trade-off coming first in the practice exactly the very next track outing.
“Yeah, no doubt. I’m proud of them. We needed this. I needed it. Our whole team needed it. It’s just been bad luck after bad luck every week. We were the first car out of the race two weeks ago [at Sonoma], and we’re the first car on top of the board. I’ll take that trade-off, but practice doesn’t mean anything,” Bubba Wallace said.
Bubba Wallace went on to say that his No:23 team is really happy with their Toyota Camry as they had a lot of speed as they went in. He added that the car did what they wanted it to do and has a few things they need to tweak saying “We’re really happy with our Toyota Camry. We went right out and had a lot of speed and it did what I wanted it to do; just really small things we need to tweak on,”.
Bubba Wallace and the entire No:23 team will be hoping to get a really good outcome on tomorrow’s qualifies and the final race on Sunday as with just 10 races left in this season and the position in the point table they can only make their way to the playoffs by either finishing inside the top 5 of every following race and hope there won’t be any new race winners or secure a race win for himself and locking up the spot.