"That was exactly what I needed" - Bubba Wallace's spotter cheers Chastain's move on Busch, keeping #23 in the playoff hunt

NASCAR Cup Series Toyota/Save Mart 350 - Qualifying
Bubba Wallace in the NASCAR Cup Series Toyota/Save Mart 350 - Qualifying (Photo by Meg Oliphant/Getty Images)

Bubba Wallace had a tough outing at Sonoma Raceway, settling for a 20th-place finish, which would have put him out of the playoffs. However, Wallace and his spotter Freddie Kraft breathed a sigh of relief on the final lap as Ross Chastain saved their day.

Chastain was battling Kyle Busch, a playoff bubble driver, for a top-five spot on the final lap. He made an opportunistic dive and spun out Busch, who dropped down the order to be classified P12. This incident changed the playoff picture as Wallace hung on to the final playoff spot.

Bubba Wallace's spotter Freddie Kraft, co-host of the DBC podcast, initially suspected Busch to have run out of fuel when the latter dropped down the order. However, on learning that Ross Chastain had spun out Busch, he jokingly suggested that the #1 Trackhouse Racing driver was back to his old form.

"Don't give a f**k tour is back! I hope, it's ready to go. I didn't realize it happened because we were quite a way back before we got there. When I saw that he finished - I thought it was 17th, I just thought he ran out of gas," he said on DBC. [at 18:08]

Kraft didn't get to see the contact between Chastain and Busch. He was relieved to learn that Busch didn't get a top-five finish, preventing him from taking the final playoff spot.

"I was like 'Oof', that was kind of exactly what I needed for my day because he [Kyle Busch] was gonna gain a buttload of points on us and then he ended up not. I might have to send Ross [Chastian] an edible arrangement or something."

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Following the weekend at Sonoma, Chris Buescher and Bubba Wallace occupy the final two playoff spots, 32 and 8 points clear of the cut-off line respectively. Kyle Busch is 8 points behind, and Joey Logano is trailing by 16 points. If Busch had secured a top-five finish, he would have displaced Wallace for the final spot.


Denny Hamlin comments on the playoff picture for Bubba Wallace and other drivers

23XI Racing co-owner Denny Hamlin reviewed the playoff bubble. He named Bubba Wallace as one of the four drivers who are worried about their chances of qualifying for the postseason.

In a recent episode of Actions Detrimental, Denny Hamlin named Wallace, Joey Logano, Kyle Busch, and Chris Buescher as four drivers who will be sweating over their playoff prospects.

"You're asking who's worried right?"Hamlin said before continuing "Logano, Busch, Bubba and Buescher. They're worried." [at 38:00]

Hamlin suggested that running 15th to 20th would not improve their situation, as a new winner could reduce their chances of qualifying for the playoffs.

"You just can't have runs in the 15s or 20s. Too many of those, you open yourself up to a new winner coming, moving the cut line again," he added. [39.00]

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With 10 races left in the regular season, all eyes will be on Bubba Wallace and drivers in the playoff bubble.

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