Denny Hamlin has thoughts on fellow NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace. Hamlin sums up Wallace’s performance so far in his first year with 23XI Racing.
In addition to driving the No. 11 Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing, Hamlin also co-owns 23XI with former NBA player Michael Jordan. They employed Wallace as their sole driver in the No. 23 car. While Wallace may have looked the part for success, so far this season has been a tough one for the driver.
Currently, Wallace sits at No. 21 with 249 points for the Cup Series. Hamlin, himself, leads the pack at 574 points. In a recent interview, Hamlin got honest and candid about Wallace’s performance so far this season. He believes the young driver has evolved this season but still has a lot to learn.
“You’ve got to just optimize your day. That’s something that team has not really done a great job throughout the year is finish where you’re running,” Hamlin said in an interview with Fox’s Bob Pockrass. “They’ve run inside the top 10 in three races and had a car capable of contending for a top 5, and mistakes take them out of it. I think they’ve really got to work on their execution. Bubba has to continue to evolve as a driver. Put the work in and concentrate on how he can do his job to the best of his ability. Use all of the tools that are at his disposal.”
Meanwhile, driver Martin Truex Jr. had a more forward message for Wallace and the 23XI team. Not one to mince words, he said, “You tell the No. 23, he better get his s— together.”
Denny Hamlin And Bubba Wallace Feud
Denny Hamlin and Bubba Wallace have dominated the headlines this month. And a rift has seemingly formed within 23XI. It’s been reported that Hamlin was upset with Wallace and his performance out on the track. For instance, during one race, Hamlin blasted over the radio, “The same thing happened at Daytona.”
According to Sportscasting, Hamlin takes issue with Wallace’s attitude during races. He believes that Wallace hasn’t been much of a team player in this series. Hamlin took issue with Wallace looking out for his own best interest rather than those of his fellow drivers.
Likewise, Hamlin may be feeling frustrations as a team owner with Wallace’s overall performance. It’s not always easy to separate dueling responsibilities. Back in 2018, Wallace and Hamlin reportedly feuded. But things calmed down between the two in the years since. After all, Hamlin did invite Wallace to drive on his 23XI team, showing an amount of confidence in the driver to get the job done. But it remains to be seen if Wallace can recover as the Cup Series continues.