There may be trouble in paradise for the newly minted racing team 23XI Racing. Team owner Denny Hamlin is reportedly upset with Bubba Wallace after Sunday’s race at the Kansas Speedway.
According to Sportscasting, Hamlin believes that Wallace hasn’t been a team player. Hamlin is also the driver of the No. 11 car. He put Wallace on blast during the race for not helping out his Toyota teammates. Instead, Hamlin felt that Wallace looked out for his own best interests. That rubbed Hamlin the wrong way.
“The same thing happened at Daytona,” Hamlin said over his radio.
Denny Hamlin and Bubba Wallace Have Argued in the Past
Of course, this isn’t the first time that Hamlin and Wallace have come to verbal blows. Back in 2018, the two engaged in a minor feud. Once again, Hamlin became upset with Wallace, this time over comments he made. During Wallace’s rookie season, the two made swipes at each other. Wallace made a dig at Hamlin suggesting that 70 percent of NASCAR drivers take Adderall as a focus aid.
Hamlin learned about Wallace’s insult and wasn’t too happy at the hot-shot rookie driver. He decided to confront Wallace in the garage before a race in Atlanta. The two engaged in a shouting match that got pretty heated. As a result of the then-feud, Wallace was blacklisted from Hamlin’s social groups. For instance, Hamlin told Wallace he was no longer welcome to play golf with him and his colleagues.
“I have been removed from both,” Wallace told Motor Racing Network in 2018. “Although, I didn’t get the direct text. It went through like five or six people. That is classy I guess. I have been told the golf league was out. I removed myself from the basketball league just after the conversation we had that day.”
But things cooled between the two over the next two years. After all, Hamlin likely wouldn’t have picked Wallace as the driver for the inaugural season of 23XI Racing if there was still bad blood. Hamlin even asked Wallace to join his Golf Guys Tour recently. In a surprise to the NASCAR driver, Wallace ended up winning and beating the rest of the group. Hamlin had reportedly intended for Wallace to just fill a vacant spot. But Wallace went the distance on the green.
Both Wallace and Hamlin can get intense about racing at times. There appears to be growing tension between the two as Hamlin balances being an owner and a driver.