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Bubba Wallace fined $50K by NASCAR for door-slamming Alex Bowman postrace


NASCAR fined Bubba Wallace $50,000 for initiating contact with another car on the cool-down lap after the Cup Series race Sunday on the Chicago street course.

Wallace door-slammed race winner Alex Bowman, who had run into Wallace early in the event as he was trying to diagnose an inoperable windshield wiper.

He was the only driver fined following the race weekend. Also on the cool-down lap, Chase Elliott appeared to have brake-checked and tapped the side of Daniel Suarez, who had turned him on the final lap (apparently a response from what Suarez felt was being roughed up as they were battling for position late in the race).

NASCAR did not fine Elliott, whose contact appeared to be less aggressive than Wallace as Wallace’s contact caused Bowman’s car to lift slightly and hit the wall.

With it being after the race on the cool-down lap, the actions aren’t considered as severe if they occurred during a race under caution when track safety vehicles could be on the track and/or cost the recipient positions in the race. That is the reason they were fined but were not issued a points penalty.

Last year, NASCAR fined Suarez $50,000 for running into Bowman as they were driving on pit road after the race. 

While drivers are instructed to keep their belts on until they get out of their cars after the race, it is not unusual for drivers to unbuckle and lower window nets during the cool-down lap. 

Bowman, who took full blame for the Wallace incident, advocated following the race that Wallace not be penalized.

“He barely hit me; everything was fine,” Bowman said. “It was plenty deserved.”

Bowman said he tried to reach out to Wallace during the rain delay as he felt embarrassed by his mistake.

“I was fighting with my windshield wiper switch, trying to get the thing working and I couldn’t get it working,” Bowman said. “And I was focused on that, missed the corner and cleaned him out.

“I locked all four tires up and slid right into him. I just messed up and absolutely ruined his day.”

Bob Pockrass covers NASCAR for FOX Sports. He has spent decades covering motorsports, including over 30 Daytona 500s, with stints at ESPN, Sporting News, NASCAR Scene magazine and The (Daytona Beach) News-Journal. Follow him on Twitter @bobpockrass.


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