• Tue. Mar 28th, 2023

Bubba Wallace scores first victory of 2022 at Kansas

ByStaff Contributions

Sep 11, 2022
Bubba Wallace celebrates in Victory Lane

Photo courtesy of Chris Graythen | Getty Images

Doubters. silenced.

Bubba Wallace dominated the final stage Sunday afternoon at Kansas Speedway to take his first checkered flag of 2022 and his second career win in the NASCAR Cup Series. He led 58 laps en route to Victory Lane.

There are now 18 different winners through 28 races in the Cup Series this season.

“So proud of this team; so proud of the effort they put in each and every week,” Wallace said after the race. “Thankful to shut the hell up for a lot of people. We were just lights out once we got to the lead. It was a lot of fun.”

Entering the weekend, Toyotas were projected to be the team to beat at Kansas and while they didn’t fully dominate the day, most of them were running toward the front.

Four Toyotas ended up in the top five with Denny Hamlin scoring his second straight runner-up finish. Christopher Bell finished third and nabbed the Stage 1 win and Martin Truex Jr. completed the top five.

Alex Bowman, after not scoring a top five since Dover Motor Speedway back in the spring, secured that coveted result with a fourth-place won and nabbed the green and checkered flag in Stage 2 to cap an important points day for the No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports team.

William Byron, Ross Chastain, Kyle Larson, Ryan Blaney and Daniel Suárez rounded out the top 10.

The first two stages of the race saw calamity for playoff and non-playoff drivers alike. It began on Lap 35 coming off Turn 4 as Wallace slid in front of Kevin Harvick after Chastain ran the No. 45 Toyota up the track. This caused the No. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford to get loose and slam the wall. Harvick hit the wall again down the frontstretch, destroying the right side of his car and causing him to finish last in 36th.

32 laps later, Tyler Reddick saw unfortunate shades of his race at Auto Club Speedway back in February as the No. 8 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet cut a tire in Turn 2 while leading and slammed the wall. Like Harvick, the damage was too much to repair and the No. 8 retired with a 35th-place finish.

The current playoff standings see Reddick just two points above the cutline while Harvick will be in a virtual, must-win situation next Saturday night at Bristol Motor Speedway as he sits 35 points below the cutline.

Late in Stage 2, Kyle Busch spun off Turn 4 and cut a tire that put him a lap down. He had to settle for a 26th-place finish, two laps down. As of now, Busch is the first driver below the cutline, two points down to Austin Cindric.

Austin Dillon (-3) and Chase Briscoe (-9) are the other two drivers below the cutline between Busch and Harvick.

With his quality finishes to begin the postseason, Bell is the only playoff driver to lock into the Round of 12 as he’s listed 58 points above the cutline and leads all playoff drivers.

The Round of 16 will be cut to 12 drivers next Saturday night at Bristol Motor Speedway (7:30 p.m. ET, USA Network, PRN).

NOTE: Post-race inspection in the NASCAR Cup Series garage is complete. There were no issues, confirming Bubba Wallace as the winner.

Official race results:

Official playoff standings (via Racing Insights):