Report: Aric Almirola serving indefinite suspension at Joe Gibbs Racing after altercation with Bubba Wallace

Almirola is running part-time for the team in the Xfinity Series in 2024

RICHMOND, VIRGINIA - MARCH 30: Aric Almirola, driver of the #20 He Gets Us Toyota, walks the grid during qualifying for the NASCAR Xfinity Series ToyotaCare 250 at Richmond Raceway on March 30, 2024 in Richmond, Virginia. (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
Aric Almirola retired from full-time NASCAR Cup Series competition after the 2023 season but signed up for a part-time Xfinity Series schedule in 2024. (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)

Aric Almirola hasn’t been seen in the Xfinity Series since a fifth-place finish at Darlington in May. And now we know why.

According to the Athletic, Almirola was suspended by Joe Gibbs Racing after an altercation with Bubba Wallace in a competition meeting. Almirola had been scheduled to compete in the Charlotte Xfinity race for JGR, but was replaced by Ty Gibbs in the days leading up to the race. The altercation was the reason.

From the Athletic:

The altercation occurred early in the week leading into the Charlotte race during a weekly competition meeting that includes both the drivers of JGR and 23XI Racing — Toyota supports both teams, and they have a close technical alliance.

The exact reason for the dispute is unknown, but those sources said the team viewed Almirola as the instigator. The decision was then made to suspend Almirola for the Charlotte race for which he had been originally listed as the driver of the No. 20 car.

The report confirms social media rumors that had run wild in the weeks after Almirola was abruptly pulled from the car. He had made five Xfinity Series starts for JGR in 2024 and won at Martinsville. He's reportedly set to return from his suspension in July.

Almirola, 40, retired from full-time Cup Series competition at the end of the 2023 season. He posted three wins in 460 career starts at NASCAR’s top level and spent the last six seasons of his career with Stewart-Haas Racing.

He returned to JGR on a part-time basis following his retirement, and was set to run a partial schedule in NASCAR’s No. 2 series this season. Almirola previously drove for JGR at the beginning of his career, and infamously was credited with a win at Milwaukee in 2007 after he qualified on the pole and started the race for Denny Hamlin. Hamlin replaced Almirola after the race began and drove his way back to the lead and the win.