Darrell Wallace Pondered Death in NASCAR Crash at Pocono Raceway

As he headed toward the wall, Darrell Wallace Jr. wondered if he was facing his demise.

byAmanda Vincent|
NASCAR photo

NASCAR driver Darrell Wallace Jr., affectionately known as Bubba, didn’t know if he’d survive a hard crash in the Gander Outdoors 400 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pennsylvania, on July 29.

Wallace, driver of the No. 43 entry for Richard Petty Motorsports Chevrolet, crashed hard into a Pocono retaining wall, and that crash has been classified as NASCAR’s most violent crash of 2018 as it bucked the track’s SAFER Barrier.

Personally, Wallace deemed it “the hardest one of my career” in an NBC Sports TV interview.

Wallace was cleared by staff at the track’s infield care center soon after the wreck, but during his media availability at Watkins Glen International ahead of the August 5 Cup Series race there, he gave a self-diagnosis of a possible broken left foot and cheek injury.

Days prior to the Watkins Glen interview, Wallace admitted to thinking, in-wreck, that the end result may be much more serious.

"I didn’t know if I was going to die or not,” Wallace said as a guest host of the “Glass Case of Emotion” podcast normally hosted by fellow-Cup Series driver Ryan Blaney.

Wallace explained that he had the thought as he headed toward the wall, head-on. His car turned, though, and hit the wall with its right side.

Retired driver-turned-NBC Sports broadcaster Dale Earnhardt Jr. related Wallace’s sentiment on his own podcast, “Dale Jr. Download.”

"In that rare situation that Bubba described, where something breaks and you’ve got time to think, like you’re heading toward this wall at 180 miles an hour and you’re gonna hammer that damn thing, you don’t know what the result’s gonna be, and you do think about your ability to survive it," Earnhardt said. "Are you gonna survive it? Are you gonna die? Are you going to be injured? You would be surprised what all you can cover in a mere couple seconds.”