Denny Hamlin addresses Bubba Wallace Jr.'s 'shame' and how it affected his NASCAR sponsorship

NASCAR Cup Series South Point 400
The #45 McDonald's Toyota, driven by Bubba Wallace Jr., is towed after an on-track incident during the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series South Point 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)

Bubba Wallace Jr. has been facing constant pushback for his actions in Sin City recently. The weekend was turned on its head after a split-second decision by 23XI Racing's driver of the #45 McDonald's Toyota Camry TRD.

The South Point 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway saw the Mobile, Alabama native use his Cup Series car as a tool for revenge. He hooked Kyle Larson on the front straightaway of the 1.5-mile-long track in retaliation for the latter's somewhat poor racing etiquette.

Kyle Larson hits Bubba Wallace.Wallace spins him out, and #NASCARPlayoffs driver Christopher Bell is involved!

Everyone in the stock car racing fraternity, ranging from fans of the sport to analysts on popular platforms, expressed how Bubba Wallace Jr.'s actions affected the sport over the coming weekend. Along with creating waves amongst the racing fraternity, Wallace Jr.'s actions also had implications for his team's sponsorship endorsements, most notably in the form of title sponsor, McDonald's.

Team owner and Joe Gibbs Racing driver Denny Hamlin spoke about the incident for the first time since the 400-mile-long race in Las Vegas and gave an insight as to what might have gone through Wallace Jr.'s mind from a driver's perspective. He said:

“I think he understands the bigger picture, and I kind of explained to him it’s tough when you got a big M on your back, and you’re walking down the infield, it’s just a bad look for us, and so he understands that.”

Speaking further on how Bubba Wallace Jr. will need to work tirelessly in the future to put this incident behind him, Hamlin said:

“I think what was a shame was he’s made such huge strides since Nashville as a driver, and he’s perennial top-10 running guy now. It’s a shame because people aren’t going to focus on how much better of a driver he’s gotten through the year. They’re going to focus on this one incident, this one millisecond in time that he made a bad decision. It’ll just take some time for him to change that narrative.”

Watch the complete interview below:


Bubba Wallace Jr.'s title sponsorship is unaffected despite his actions in Las Vegas

23XI Racing co-owner Denny Hamlin spoke on whether fast-food chain McDonald's sponsorship deal with Bubba Wallace Jr. took a hit as a result of his recent actions during an interview with reporters recently. He said:

“No, our partners have been very good. They understand this sport’s full of passion, they understand these kinds of things happen at times where it’s a big deal. McDonald’s especially has just been great with us and great with Bubba. They understand it’s just part of it.”

Watch Bubba Wallace Jr. return from his suspension as NASCAR goes live from Martinsville Speedway next weekend for the final Round of 8 race of the 2022 Cup Series season.

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Edited by Anurag C
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