Race Weekend Central

The Underdog House: All-Star Rivals Bubba Wallace, Michael McDowell Make Texas Toast

Top Dog

After a forgettable All-Star Race evening at Bristol Motor Speedway, Bubba Wallace was probably as ready as anyone to get to Texas for this weekend’s event. He certainly channeled his energy appropriately, as the No. 43 Chevrolet captured the 14th finishing position.

The Texas sun was scorching, but it wasn’t the only thing on the high banks featuring a blinding brightness. Sporting an unmissable neon green Chevrolet featuring new sponsor Cash App, Wallace ran well for the majority of the race. He spent several laps contending for a top-10 spot and may have claimed one at the finish had the caution flag not waved, a point he reiterated after the race.

“A top-15 day for the Richard Petty Motorsports No. 43 Cash App Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE team at the Texas Motor Speedway — a long, hot day that’s for sure.” Wallace said. “Proud of the efforts from our team. Cash App was on the car for the first time, so that was cool. We got Cash App a really good first finish. I thought we had a chance there. If that last caution had not come out, we maybe could have held on for a top-10 finish. But all-in-all, a great effort. Good bounce back from our last two weeks, and we’ll just keep pushing to get our cars better. Shoutout again to Cash App for jumping on-board. Being a part of the sport, how cool is that? Get them their first top-15 finish and go onto the Kansas Speedway. We’ll see what we got there.”

Honorable Mention

Just in case Michael McDowell hadn’t seen enough of Wallace’s bumper at Bristol, he got to look at it a little more at the conclusion of Sunday’s race. McDowell finished right behind his All-Star Race adversary in 15th place.

In case you missed it, Wallace wound up wrecked after contact with McDowell during the qualifying race for the all-star event. Making the incident more frustrating is that had he finished with his car intact, Wallace would have likely claimed the fan vote and advanced to the main show. Seething, Wallace took his damaged bumper and left it at the door of McDowell’s hauler. It wasn’t all bad though, as the bumper will be auctioned off for charity.

Corey Lajoie also had a notable day, as he came home 16th. The result equals his best since the season opener at Daytona and could provide some much needed momentum in what has been a disappointing 2020 campaign thus far.

Other Dogs

The Xfinity Series put in 300 miles on Saturday at Texas and several underdog teams landed solid finishes. Brandon Brown led the way with his 10th-place result, his fourth such finish of 2020. 11th went to Jeremy Clements, 12th was Jeffrey Earnhardt, David Starr finished 13th, Jesse Little picked up 14th and Tommy Joe Martins claimed the final slot in the top 15.

The NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series teams also raced on Saturday. Derek Kraus led the underfunded contingent with his 11th-place finish. Joining Kraus in the top half of the field was Austin Wayne Self, who picked up a 14th-place finish in his home state.

What to Expect

The NASCAR Cup, Xfinity, and Truck teams all head to Kansas Speedway this week. The Cup teams will take to the track first on Thursday night. Historically speaking, Kansas hasn’t shown a whole lot of favor to the underdogs. However, John Hunter Nemechek did grab an NXS win there, so he could be a potential surprise. Still, it might be a long day for the drivers from the other side of the garage.

As for the NXS teams that will race on Saturday, I have high expectations for Clements. He started and finished sixth in last year’s event and has shown himself to be plenty capable of running well on race day.

It’ll be a doubleheader for the trucks, who will race back to back Friday night and again Saturday afternoon. Jordan Anderson might sneak away with a strong finish in one, or perhaps both, of those races. Anderson finished 13th last year at Kansas and could potentially contend for another solid result.

Look Who’s Talking

About the author

Frank Velat has been an avid follower of NASCAR and other motorsports for over 20 years. He brings a blend of passionate fan and objective author to his work. Frank offers unique perspectives that everyone can relate to, remembering the sport's past all the while embracing its future. Follow along with @FrankVelat on Twitter.

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thanks for the bubba story Frank, always nice to hear all about a guy with no wins in five seasons in Xfinity and no wins in four years in Cup. The race bored you I guess. Question for you. Is he the next Mikey the mouth ! Will y’all still be talking about bubba 5 years and 180 some races from now if he still has zero wins !

Bill B

Until he gets that next 180 races in, comparing him to Mikey Waltrip is an insult to Mikey (if it’s possible to insult Mikey)). I’d say Danica would be a better comparison. Someone who has done little to nothing in NASCAR but still carries himself like a star and gets treated by the media that way as well.


I just think it’s a real slap in the face to Clint Bowyer that you keep saying Bubba would have gotten the fan vote for the All Star Race. How can anyone keep saying that unless they were going to make sure he got it regardless. Clint is a very accomplished and well loved driver and deserved the nomination.

Bill B

Not sure who you are replying to Gloria. I have looked at all the comments and I don’t see anyone that mentioned anything about the fan vote. Plus this article was about the Texas race, not the all-star race.


I guess celebrating a 14th place is acceptable for a car and driver who normally finishes in the bottom 20. This reminds me a lot of Danica Patrick. All hat and no saddle. How about a news story about Cole Custer who won a race in his rookie year. Hardly a peep! How about stories about drivers that got their rides because they were real race car drivers.

Steve Sparks

Except she was not a bottom of the pack finisher, mid pack, Yes! Bottom sorry hater, but not true!




Bubba keep keep your chin up, and keep smiling we got your back. GO 43


Bubba impress me win a race so you deserve to be interviewed.


Bubba Wallace owes his 14th place finish to his buddy Ryan Blaney. Blaney could have easily put him a lap down prior to the end of both Stage 1 and 2, but didn’t. Otherwise Bubba finishes back in the 20’s somewhere, as per usual.


I think Bubba has the talent to win if everyone else crashes out. Like Danica the writers will fawn all over and embellish whatever can possible pass as an accomplishment. Disgusting.


I’m not sure about the Bubba hate here. This article always talks the most about the highest finishing underdog, and this week it was Bubba. He also has improved his finishes a lot since last year. Nobody getting talked about in the Underdog House segment is going to be competing for wins – that’s the whole point. Shed some light on the smaller teams (even though Bubba has obviously gotten a lot of press lately).


Good race 43 team, let’s go to Kansas and get a top 10

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