NASCAR: How Close Was Bubba Wallace to Making Playoffs This Year?

by Madison Miller

For fans of Bubba Wallace, yesterday was a bit of a sad day. It marked the end of the season for the No. 23 racer.

Saturday marked the end of the NASCAR Cup Series regular season. Racers battled it out at the Daytona International Speedway for the Coke Zero Sugar 400 race.

The 23XI Racing team member managed to finish in second place. That was after Chris Buescher, who technically was second place, was disqualified after a post-race inspection.

Bubba Wallace Close to Playoffs

It was an incredibly close call, too. He needed to finish in first place in order to make the playoffs, but Ryan Blaney raced across as the No.1 contender that day.

In terms of his overall ranking during the regular season, Bubba Wallace came in 17th in terms of points. He needed to be amongst the top 16 drivers in order to race in the playoffs. Despite a bit of a sad ending to the season, Bubba Wallace had his second top-five finish of the year last night. It is also the second runner-up finish for Wallace during his career.

He is paving the way for the all-new 23XI Racing team, which just welcomed popular racer, Kurt Busch, to the team with a multi-year deal.

Despite the close call, Bubba Wallace still spoke positively about his racing experience following the regular season.

“Stay in it, that’s all you can do. I needed to win. I was comfortable taking a hit if we were caught up in it. You’ve got to do what you’ve got to do and I came out third. I was happy with that, but we needed to win to get in. Up and down regular season for us. Thankful for opportunity. It’s a brand new team. Everybody is still figuring each other out. I’ve always said our superspeedway stuff is good. It’s good to give us a finish we deserved. I don’t think we were a winning car, so I can’t hang my head too much, but knowing that we needed a win and we came up just short stings a little bit,” Wallace said after the race, according to NBC Sports.

Wallace Welcomes Kurt Busch to the Team

Prior to the announcement a couple of days ago, fans and experts were speculating who would be joining the racing team owned by Michael Jordan and Denny Hamlin.

Kurt Busch will be a huge addition to the rookie, first-year racing organization. He is a three-time Daytona 500 winner. Monster Energy will also move with Busch next season as he drives the No. 45 Toyota.

Following the big news of the second car addition to the team, Bubba Wallace excitedly reacted to the news on social media.

“Been holding it in for a while…duh. Beyond excited to have @KurtBusch join the fam!! Brings a lot that I don’t have to the team! Congrats homie!” he wrote on Twitter.