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Bubba Wallace offered tough love to Rajah Caruth after the NASCAR Truck race at Daytona

"I was doing what I thought was right."

Rajah Caruth finished second in the season opening NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race at Daytona International Speedway but also factored into the final lap melee that wiped out practically the entire field.

The incident began inside the top-5 when Caruth drifted up into Jack Wood, who turned Taylor Gray into the wall, and in front of the entire field. Daniel Dye collided into Gray, who went airborne and upside down, trucks piling in from third on back.

Caruth was met outside of the truck by Cup Series driver Bubba Wallace, who has served as a mentor over the past couple of seasons, but it wasn’t for a congratulations.

Wallace was watching the race from inside his motorhome with wife Amanda, saw what happened on the final lap, and immediately sprinted to the infield to have a conversation with his protégé. The exchange was detailed by Wallace on this week’s Door Bumper Clear podcast.

“He wants to learn and grow his notebook as much as he can,” Wallace said. “But, I was sitting in the bus and watching it live. I was like, ‘What the hell was that move?’

“I put my shoes on and marched out there. If your kid came up to me and was like, ‘Help me out.’ Ok, strap in. I told Rajah this after the fact, ‘when you win your first race, I’ll be the first one to victory lane. When you fuck up, I’m going to be the first one to go to your ass. If you don’t like it, cry about it, I don’t care.’

“I went up to him like, What the hell was that?’ and he said he got pushed up into it.”

In real time, Wallace took Caruth at face value, but then went back to his motor home to watch all the various replays, in-truck cameras and camera angles.

“I got back to the bus,” Wallace said. “I studied film like it was my own fucking race. Pausing the tv, pulling up my phone. Like ‘bro, you didn’t get pushed, what are you talking about?’ … He finally came around and said, ‘I messed up’ and I said, ‘thank you. Now, pick up the phone and tell everybody else that.’ Because that’s what he’s gotta do.”

Wallace caught criticism from a lot of fans for publicly pulling Caruth aside, but he also says he doesn’t care, because it was the right thing to do.

“I’m doing what I thought was right. I don’t give a fuck what people say. It’s just funny to see all that. Then, it’s like, ‘Oh yeah, I did make a mistake’ and I’m the asshole.”

Ultimately, Wallace concedes he can’t do anything right in the eyes of some fans.

“Somebody had the best tweet after that whole interaction,” Wallace told the hosts, which included his spotter, Freddy Kraft. “They said, ‘Bubba Wallace could get on twitter and say ‘fuck Bubba Wallace’ and people would be mad at him.”

Matt Weaver is a Motorsports Insider for Sportsnaut. Follow him on Twitter. 

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