Oh boy, I can’t wait to tackle this topic. Thankfully this blog isn’t popular enough to get comments yet or I’d be terrified to write this. This article is about gauging Bubba Wallace’s success with his new team and nothing to do with off-track events.
Bubba Wallace brought life to a decrepit Richard Petty Motorsports in 2020 and has moved on to greener pastures. There were a lot of rumors passed around about what the new 23XI Racing would be and how competitive we can expect it to be. We now know that it is in fact a Joe Gibbs Racing affiliate.
With that comes the expectations of playoff contention, especially with a driver in his fourth season. After all, it’s the same equipment that won a championship three years ago. We also saw Leavine Family Racing and Christopher Bell have an up and down year so who knows what to expect.
Questions about Bubba Wallace’s talent level are also brought up a lot, but this is mainly due to people’s personal perception of him as a person off the track. In actuality, Bubba was a solid NASCAR prospect prior to being dropped by Roush Fenway Racing’s development program due to sponsorship issues. He currently has 6 total Truck series wins and a 3rd place standings finish in his last full time NASCAR season prior to getting his chance with Richard Petty Motorsports.
We’ve never gotten to see what he can do with good equipment and this could be the first chance. Even if 23XI isn’t on par with bigger teams with equipment yet, Wallace has the job security to eventually get a true shot as this team will inevitably be a top tier team.
Top Fives: 5
Top Tens: 14
Average Finish: 16th
Top Fives: 2
Top Tens: 6
Average Finish: 20th
With Wallace’s great ability at super speedways, there’s a chance this is the year we see his first win. I’ll even leave room for him to just simply win a regular race this year. Wallace has the opportunity to put himself in equal company with young developing drivers like Alex Bowman and William Byron and be a legit playoff contender.
This could also be a down year whether it be Bubba Wallace being exposed or 23XI’s growing pains. Expect for this team to be one of the biggest stories of the year no matter what happens.