Bubba Wallace was emotional following Sunday’s second-place finish in the FireKeepers Casino 400 at Michigan International Speedway.
Wallace was on the pole for the race and valiantly battled Kevin Harvick and Denny Hamlin among others to get to the Top 5. After Christopher Bell’s collision with Ross Chastain brought out the caution flag with 40 laps to go, Harvick beat out Wallace on the restart and never looked back.
Harvick finished about 3 seconds ahead of Wallace, who drives the No. 23 Toyota Camry for 23XI Racing.
“Second doesn’t get you in the playoffs. This is way worse than Daytona. Daytona, we kind of just fell into that one. This one we had the car,” he said via NBC Sports.
“Got behind a little bit on adjustments in the middle of the race. I didn’t think we were going to get back up there. It was so hard to pass. Aero sensitivity in these cars is just nuts. Just had to grind and stay hungry and get us up there, and next thing you know I made the wrong choice on a restart.”
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Wallace said he felt like he “failed everybody.”
“I want to win so bad, and this was the best opportunity,” he added.
Wallace also finished second at the Daytona 500 in February. He won his first race last season at Talladega Superspeedway.
He has only three races left to make the playoffs. The regular-season finale is Aug. 27 at the Coke Zero Sugar 400 in Daytona.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.