Now that the chaotic 2021 Daytona 500 has ended, 23XI has finished its first race as a team. The star driver, Bubba Wallace, finished 17th in the race after a fiery final lap crash. After two big wrecks and a long rain delay, Michael McDowell won the first race of the NASCAR season. Despite the somewhat disappointing finish, the brand new team got some pretty epic photos from the race.
“On to the next,” the Tweet says with a muscle emoji. The pictures show Bubba Wallace in his full racing gear and of his brand new number 23 car. His all-red getup works well for the 23XI’s debut, hopefully, we will see more of it throughout the season.
Bubba Wallace and 23XI
Bubba Wallace joined Michael Jordan’s new racing team, 23XI, back in October of last year. They revealed the new red #23 car shortly after announcing that Wallace would drive the car. The partnership means a lot for the progression of the sport of NASCAR as Michael Jordan became the first Black majority owner of a racing team in NASCAR. Then, in the Daytona 500, Wallace became the first Black driver to lead for a lap in the competition.
The choice of Bubba Wallace as the 23XI lead driver came from the idea of social justice. As Wallace has been pushing for diversity and making positive changes in the sport, Michael Jordan also wants to push for the same things. The six-time NBA champion has shown interest in NASCAR for years and Bubba Wallace seemed like the perfect in for the 23XI racing team. And what better debut race than the Daytona 500?
23XI also gave a statement as to why he believed Wallace was the perfect fit for the new team. “Bubba Wallace burst onto the national spotlight in 2020 as the social justice movement swept across America and Bubba took a stand in his sport,” the statement read. “Bubba has been breaking barriers since he entered the sport of NASCAR, becoming the first African-American driver in several decades to win a national series race and be a full-time driver in the premier NASCAR Cup Series. In 2021 Bubba will take the wheel of the No. 23 car,” starting with the Daytona 500.
The Chaotic 2021 Daytona 500
This year’s season-opening race had enough chaos and fire to last the rest of the NASCAR season. It started off with a massive 10-15 car pile-up in just the 15th lap. This eliminated several big names from the competition and left several cars damaged. Bubba Wallace and the 23XI racing team survived that crash, but more craziness ensued.
A rain delay hit in the middle of the race which brought a stop to all of the action. However, FOX sports who aired the race decided to play a rerun from Tuesday to keep fans interested. Instead, fans completely lost their minds believing that the rerun was actually the Daytona 500.
Then, in the 37-38th lap of the race, another wreck caused by debris from a car caused Quin Houff in the #00 car to exit the race. This caused outrage amongst fans toward William Byron, whose car the debris came from.
Then, Bubba Wallace ran into problems in the last lap of the Daytona 500. “Bum end,” Wallace said in a Tweet after the race. “I bailed out down the back saw the wreck happening and got run over from behind. Should’ve bailed sooner. Fast car, can’t have loose wheels. Onto the right turns.”