Photo courtesy of Sean Gardner | Getty Images
Back with 23XI racing for his third season driving the No. 23 in 2023, Bubba Wallace is looking to improve off of his career-best standings finish last season. Alongside new teammate Tyler Reddick, the duo will be looking to bring 23XI its best season in its young existence.
Despite finishing 19th in the point standings in 2022, Wallace had a bit of an up-and-down year in the new Next Gen Car. He collected seven DNFs, the most in any season at any level of his career. He also missed the Dixie Vodka 400 at Homestead-Miami while facing a one-race suspension for an incident involving Kyle Larson at Las Vegas the week before.
While running near the front of the pack, Larson ran Wallace up into the wall and in retaliation Wallace wrecked Larson. They also collected playoff contender Christopher Bell in the chaos and Wallace’s day ended as well.
After serving his suspension, Wallace returned the following week and earned a top-10 finish, placing eighth at Martinsville. He finished the season with a 22nd-place finish at Phoenix.
Despite the slumps of the 2022 season, Wallace earned the second win of his career. He also recorded career highs with 10 top-10 and five top-5 finishes. He tied his career-best from the season before with 20 finishes in the top 20.
Wallace ran most of 2022 in the No. 23 car but once eliminated from playoff contention at the end of the regular season, Wallace took over the No. 45 for an injured Kurt Busch.
Busch suffered a concussion during qualifying at Pocono in late July and was forced to miss the remainder of the season. Ty Gibbs ran the remainder of the regular season but with the No. 45 still in contention for the Owner’s Championship, qualifying with a win at Kansas earlier in the season, Wallace switched with Gibbs through the playoffs, piloting the No. 45 as Gibbs moved to the No. 23.
Wallace earned his one win of the season in the No. 45, also at Kansas where Busch collected his win earlier in the season as the No.45 went two for two in victory lane at Kansas in its debut season with 23XI.
Coming off of Joey Logano’s 22 in 2022 campaign, Wallace is hoping for that same magic as he’s back to his No. 23 in 2023. He switched pit crew members in July of 2022 and only experienced 2 DNFs the remainder of the season after having five prior to the change. With the luck that 2022 provided 2023 is bound to be a better season but how high is the ceiling for Wallace?
23 days out from the 2023 Busch Light Clash at the Coliseum, Wallace is looking to potentially earn his first playoff berth in his car’s lucky year. After earning a spot in the main race and placing 20th at the Clash in 2022, he will be looking to start his campaign even hotter this season in Los Angeles.