Bubba Wallace Swapping to the No. 45 for 23XI Racing in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs

by Jonathan Howard

Bubba Wallace is swapping cars to the No. 45 for the duration of the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs. He’ll race for 23XI in the Owner’s Championship. While Kurt Busch dropped from the driver’s playoffs, this is a different game and a smart move from 23XI. Wallace is their go-to guy and they want their main driver earning points for the owner, rather than grinding it out in his No. 23 for no points at all.

It is clear that the team thinks they can perform well in the Owner’s Championship. If you can’t make an impact or compete for the Bill France Cup, might as well get something for Michael Jordan and Denny Hamlin. Of course, it will be an almost impossible task to take down the other playoff teams.

Each team, besides 23XI, has at least two qualified drivers in the field of 16. Meaning, they also have multiple cars in the Owner’s Championship. Bubba Wallace will have to compete against teams – not just individuals in this case.

As for Ty Gibbs, he’s remaining with the team throughout the end of the year, or until Kurt Busch comes back.

“Ty Gibbs will continue to serve as 23XI’s substitute driver and will now drive the No. 23 Toyota Camry TRD with Billy Scott remaining as the crew chief. Aside from the number being different, there will be no changes to the primary partners on either car,” 23XI said in a statement.

Bubba Wallace in a Monster Energy firesuit? Count me in!

Can Bubba Wallace Make Some Noise?

Ten races left in the season. Bubba Wallace won’t drive in the Driver’s Championship, but he still has a chance to earn a win and make a statement to end the year. Any positive momentum they can gain at the end of this season will go to help secure that W in 2023. The offseason doesn’t last that long and before we know it, we’ll be back at the Daytona 500 in February.

New car, the same pit crew, and pretty much the same everything. However, that doesn’t mean that mojo isn’t a real thing. Perhaps this little bit of a fresh start puts some energy into this team and driver.

Bootie Barker and Bubba Wallace will be repping the No. 45 at Darlington. Is this the start of a really solid run from Wallace and his crew? Let’s see.