With the NASCAR season suspended due to COVID-19, the racing organization has fully embraced virtual competitions using the "iRacing" simulation video game. The fans have enjoyed watching the competitions, but the drivers have learned that their actions have consequences. Darrell "Bubba" Wallace "rage quit" during the Food City Showdown on April 5 and lost a sponsor as a result. Two weeks later, he joked about the incident while taking a virtual lap for the digital fans.
Wallace took part in the Toyota Owners 150 on Sunday, joining several other drivers on the virtual Richmond track. He actually finished this race, placing ninth overall behind Dale Earnhardt Jr., and celebrated by taking a lap around the empty track. He called out several NASCAR media members and asked them to mention that he was the last one to leave the race track. Video evidence of his "Polish victory lap" later surfaced and showed him waving while driving around the track.
Proof 🤣 pic.twitter.com/6ib8izymNQ— Tom Curran (@TomCurran2) April 19, 2020
"It's just a Polish lap... No victory," one person commented on social media. Others agreed with this sentiment and said that Wallace couldn't call it a victory lap considering that he didn't even finish in the top-five. There was one person, however, that disagreed. They felt that having Wallace simply finish the race was a victory in itself.
Wallace's rage quit took place on April 5. He was one of the 32 drivers competing in the virtual event, but he only lasted 11 of the 150 laps. He was involved in an incident with fellow driver Clint Bowyer in which Bowyer cut in front of his car on the straightaway. The frustration was evident on Wallace's face following this maneuver, but he grew angrier when Bowyer came up high on a curve and put him into the wall.
"Y'all have a good one. That's it. This is why I don't take this s— serious," Wallace said on his Twitch stream. "Peace out!" He then left the competition and received a DQ/DNF. He also lost a sponsor.0comments
Following his outburst on the track and some comments about quitting a video game, joint/muscle cream Blue Emu cut ties with him. The brand, which recently signed a multi-year contract with NASCAR, responded to Wallace and said, "GTK where you stand. Bye bye Bubba. We're interested in drivers, not quitters." The brand also used an animated Gif of President Donald Trump saying, "you're fired."
Wallace is not the only driver to deal with unforeseen consequences of their actions during a virtual race. Kyle Larson used a racial slur during a race on April 12. He was suspended indefinitely by NASCAR and was fired by Chip Ganassi Racing. Larson has since apologized for his use of the slur and has enrolled in sensitivity training, but his future in the sport is unknown.