Unhinged: Did Bubba Wallace Really Deserve To Be Penalized For Rage-Quitting An iRacing Event?


Unhinged: Did Bubba Wallace Really Deserve To Be Penalized For Rage-Quitting An iRacing Event?

With nobody needing to be near anybody during this pandemic, NASCAR took one of the more novel approaches we have seen and took their drivers to the sim racing game iRacing. NASCAR not only saved their viewership, but might have actually picked up some new followers with the switch, whether temporary or otherwise. But there apparently some issues that come with racing on a sim versus racing in the real world, as Bubba Wallace found out. On a 150-lap race of Bristol Motor Speedway on iRacing, Wallace and Clint Boyer went tit for tat, first with Bowyer helping Bubba into the wall a little bit. After that, Bowyer came back up and smacked him again into the wall, and at that moment, you can see Wallace’s Camaro just quit. That’s because Bubba himself did what is known in the gaming world as “rage-quitting”, where you get so pissed off that you up and walk away from a video game.

Now, in the real world, you go have a beer, you calm down, and you do anything else to forget that someone in a sim world managed to set your temper on fire. But for Wallace, that actually stirred up a bit of a storm. After catching hell for rage-quitting, Wallace took to twitter to defend his position, and…well, see for yourself:

Yeah, that’s right…Blue-Emu cut ties with Bubba Wallace regarding his actions over a video game. Ben Blessing, one of Blue-Emu’s vice presidents, had this to say: “We aren’t sponsoring Bubba anymore. Can you imagine if he did that in real life on a track? I used to work in NASCAR and you aren’t going to find the dollar-for-dollar return on investment we were getting on this. We thought this was a blessing in disguise for us. But then you find out that you aren’t sponsoring a NASCAR driver, you are sponsoring someone like my 13-year-old-son who broke his controller playing some game where he builds houses.” Cute, coming from the company who also tweeted a .gif of Donald Trump in one of his famous, “You’re fired!” scenes from “The Apprentice”.

Now, I get, to a point, why this happened. Bubba’s actions reflect on the company no matter what. But a video game? I’m sorry, but unless NASCAR actually starts putting points standings against iRacing events (which, right now, is only for the iRacing events and do not in any way work for the standard racing setup) then these iRacing events need to be taken as they are: an exhibition and a move of goodwill by NASCAR and participating drivers to entertain millions who would otherwise not be watching. One of two things needs to happen: either NASCAR needs to make this official so that drivers know they are actually racing for something other than viewership, or leave it be as an exhibition event and do not penalize the drivers.

What’s your call on the subject?


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20 thoughts on “Unhinged: Did Bubba Wallace Really Deserve To Be Penalized For Rage-Quitting An iRacing Event?

  1. john

    Why should anyone give a ” flying [email protected]#k” about this ? Read a book, play with your kids, f a sheep for all I care. This would have been a damn good “Twilight Zone” moment…too bad Rod Serling is dead …or is he ? 🙂

  2. Brian Lohnes

    Of course he should have.

    These races are the largest live events on television every Sunday regularly drawing 1.1-1.3 million viewers. The company was paying him to be part of the race and they see promotional value in it. By quitting the event and skulking off, he basically took their investment and flushed it.

    The format of the race, being electronic does not matter. These guys are performing live in front of a very large audience and when you agree to do something, you do it. Not rage quit like a 9-year old on xBox.

    It’s not even close to a Twilight Zone moment unless you are an old guy (John, I love you but you’re an old guy). It literally does not matter whether it is iRacing, professional bowling, or the World Series of Poker, if someone is paying you to represent them and do so in front of a large audience, you either hold up your end of the bargain or you don’t. He didn’t.

    The truly short-sighted thing that Bubba does not see is that this is the stuff that’s keeping people like him and his team alive right now. There is a reason that the branding on these races has gotten larger and larger every week, it’s because as of this moment it’s the only place to reach a million eyeballs on TV on a Sunday at once LIVE.

    The point is not for NASCAR to “make it official”. The point is that in the United States at this moment, exactly one sports league has their biggest names on TV doing something that they are known to do…race stuff. the fact that more than 1-million people are tuning in each week proves the power of personality because they are not tuning in to watch the cars. They are tuning in to see the drivers that they follow have a good time and enjoy themselves in a unique format. Clint Bowyer has been hilarious, Jimmy Johnson has looked awful each week and does it with a laugh and a smile, unexpected names have won, and the Mike Joy, et al, have been having fun as well.

    It looks even worse when you don’t have the mental strength to have fun with the whole thing as opposed to walking away but unlike real life when a sponsor might get some replays if you crash out, might get some mentions when you check out OK, what Bubba did was literally erase them from the conversation and any hope they had to getting some exposure from being on the car.

    It was dumb and it should have cost him. It did.

  3. Mike

    Blue Emu absolutely did the right thing. Game or not, Bubba was representing his sponsor, and frankly, he should have known better.

  4. david kluttz

    So the only option a grown man has is play a video game to keep eating?
    Nascar has been at the bottom of the barrel for a while now–a steady trip to the worst slide in sports history–and now this?? I ordered a Bubba Hat and T shirt
    Blue could have spun this in a fun way but nooo!
    Nascar has been Over and Done for a long time–this is the proof that the last hard core fans needed Really??
    Yea Bubba !!! a man in an accountants world

  5. David

    I can’t get into these races…Bubba made a good point…they’re supposed to be having fun, and entertaining the fans at home, some of the guys are taking this to seriously.

    If you want to entertain me…try a cup race at: Eldora, LeMan’s, Street race in Detroit, or Nurburgring…that would interest me.

    1. Matt Cramer

      The virtual racing does seem to have a lot of potential that isn’t being used. Skin the cars with 1960s bodies. Put the drivers in cars with the same appearance and performance as production cars since you’ve taken the question of whether these would be safe at a superspeedway out of the question. Have NASCAR drivers compete in a virtual English banger race.

      Bad move on Bubba’s part professionally, but this does give NASCAR a bit of the sort of drama that has largely been banished in the name of professionalism. Still, it would have been better style to try to cause a 20-car pileup before “Peace Out!”

  6. tracey

    Arguing over f**king video game……………….

    Breath that Covid19 deep everyone. We deserve to go extinct.

  7. Brett

    Bubba was paid to do a job, he chose to quit said job in the middle of his shift. It does not matter what that job is or who’s doing it, walking away from a paid position before the task is complete is grounds for dismissal.

    1. jimmie roan

      get a fucking life, i didn\’t even know blue emu existed anymore, not that i would have bought that shit to begin with, but this video crap is pathetic, get off your lazy ass and walk around the block or dig a hole or learn to drive a car or work on one, this country is raising fat lazy shit heads with a phone glued to their ear or sitting in front of a game boy or laptop clicking a mouse, i applaud bubba for his comments, nascar is shameful for televising this kid shit to begin with, if i had the time or money i would attempt a lawsuit but it really isn\’t worth it, who gives a shit about a fucking video game, geez this is pathetic.

  8. Piston Pete

    This is BULLSHIT. Video racing on tv?, you gotta be shittin’ me. And yer arguing about it? Same for Competition Plus’s virtual drag racing. Time to grow up. Life is fixing to get real real. Y’all better get outside, get the garden ready and cut some firewood while it’s still cool, yer gonna need it.

  9. Robert

    There is no way I am watching people play video games. I don’t think I could ever be that bored.

    Were they racing for fun or was it mandatory under the nascar rules? Seems pretty dumb to me.

  10. Alan Reinhart

    I agree with Brett, doesn’t matter if it’s a real race or an iRace, a sponsor paid to have Bubba put their billboard in front of the people. In this case over a million were watching. Bubba quit, and took the billboard (racecar) away so the fans couldn’t see it.

    If I pay a guy to do a days worth of work and he quits after an hour, I’m not paying him for the full day, and I’m damn sure not hiring him again.

    I would have gone full “Day’s of Thunder” on Clint. Push the button get a new car and ruin his day.

    Alan

    1. jimmie roan

      days of thunder, yeah that shows what a race fan you are, this is a video game not a job or a race , our youth and other lazy ass people need to do something active for a change. again fool this is a video game, nascar is pathetic for televising , again, a video game.

  11. CLINTON WRIGHT

    My question is was RPM or Bubba W. being compensated for him being entered into this I-race at Bristol? We know they pay to be on the car in real life racing, and pay very well I\’m sure. So are the guys entered in these races being played to do this yes or no? If so Bubba was wrong, if not Bleu Emu needs to get a life and I hope Bubba has a cold one on them.

  12. LanceH

    Your opinion on this,right or wrong is generational .
    I see all video games as games, toys , not real. Something children do.
    The dumbest thing I’ve seen is grown men WATCHING others play video GAMES.
    I don’t care how real it looks,it’s not real it’s a game a toy.

    To paraphrase Ernest Hemingway “ there are only 3 sports, Mountain Climbing, Boxing and Motor Racing. Everything else is children’s games men play.”

    Don’t care ,VR is just a children’s game.

  13. Randy Hinkle

    Nascar is lame. Watching guys play a nascar video game is even more lame. How screwed up is your life if watching either one of these things is what you do for entertainment? Wow.

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