Motorsport News

Are Bubba Wallace’s Playoff Hopes In Trouble?

Nascar Cup Series

1. Are Bubba Wallace’s Playoff Prospects Coming Undone?

A few months ago, Bubba Wallace was not locked into the postseason, but the No. 23 team didn’t feel like one in the midst of desperation.

Solid runs were there for Wallace. The team was not running awful, but not great, either. The team had enough performance of which one felt like if it could stay on that plane and avoid a cluster of bad days, running well could lead to a win or what Wallace did last year — getting into the postseason via points.

Like other sports, you are only as good as your most recent showing. But Wallace and the No. 23 team have been not quite as good recently.

Through the first eight races of the season, Wallace had four top-five finishes. Sunday’s (June 23) crash at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, a rare DNF for the No. 23, added to a recent string of undesirable results for Wallace, who has finished outside the top 10 for five races in a row.

The result, combined with Joey Logano and Team Penske finding their footing as expected, has Wallace below the playoff cut line.

It’s not desperation win or else mode for Wallace yet, but it may be soon if the No. 23 team can’t find a way to put some solid top-10 caliber finishes together.

2. Postseason or Not, Todd Gilliland is Setting the Standard at Front Row Motorsports

Front Row Motorsports can produce results good enough for a driver to race in the postseason.

That’s a proven fact as shown by the fact that even if Michael McDowell did not win a race last year, his performance — demonstrated in part by earning the 12th-most playoff points of any driver — illustrated an ability to run near the front on a regular basis.

No, it’s not top five-type results, but it’s solid enough to get you in the postseason.

Here we are in late June, and both FRM drivers, McDowell and Todd Gilliland, are below the playoff cutline but within striking distance to get close to it if they string a few strong finishes together or use a steady progress to set the stage for a race win.

You can’t help but wonder if Gilliland knows that he has the onus on him to lead his team with McDowell headed to Spire Motorsports when this season ends. When a driver is the longest-tenured one on a race team, there’s a level of expectation to set the standard.

Gilliland continues to show that. He has seven finishes in a row of 20th or better and spent the whole race at New Hampshire inside the top…

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