NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace headed to Bristol Motor Speedway on Wednesday night to take part in the All-Star Open. If he won a stage or had the most fan votes, he would move on and compete in the 2020 All-Star Race. However, Wallace's night ended during Stage 1 due to a frightening wreck.
The incident occurred when Wallace moved past Michael McDowell, who drove the No. 34 Ford Mustang. Wallace had a clear lane to overtake after William Byron provided a much-needed push. McDowell initially moved toward the wall as Wallace passed, but he shifted back to the left instead. The front of his car hit the rear of Wallace's No. 43 Chevrolet Camaro, spinning him into the wall in a violent collision.
Emergency crews headed to the track to tow the No. 43 Chevrolet. It was in no condition to drive due to flat tires and a rim bent in half. Meanwhile, Wallace climbed out of the car and headed toward pit road and a likely medical examination. He ultimately avoided any injuries.
Wallace reacted to the incident during an interview on pit road. He first apologized for his terrible hair before talking about the incident. He called the "hook move" disrespectful and said that McDowell would send him texts after the race about respect. Wallace finished by calling his opponent a joke and walking off.
The driver for Richard Petty Motorsports had an opportunity to earn a spot in the all-star event in multiple ways. If he won one of the three stages, he would automatically move to the main event. Another option existed in the fan vote. The remaining driver with the most votes would also move on and take part in the competition for the $1 million prize. As commentators Jeff Gordon and Mike Joy explained, Wallace likely would have won the fan vote if he didn't take care of business on the track. However, they clarified that he needed a working car to do so, and there was no scenario in which the No. 43 would function.
Wallace previously raced his way to the 2019 All-Star Race, winning Stage 2 of the All-Star Open. He started the event at the rear of the field but steadily moved up the leaderboard. He finished in fifth place overall while Kyle Larson secured the victory and the $1 million payday.