Michael Jordan and Denny Hamlin‘s 23XI Racing team is keeping its No. 23 driver around for a long time. After finishing second at Michigan International Speedway for NASCAR’s FireKeepers Casino 400, the racing team is locking up Bubba Wallace with a multi-year contract extension.
The team’s Twitter announced the move with a video using a remixed version of the theme to Welcome Back, Kotter. With a coinciding statement, co-owner Denny Hamlin said, “Bubba was a key part of the early stages of 23XI, and I am thrilled that he will continue with the team.”
Hamlin continued, “When we announced Bubba as our first driver the goal was to help him take his career to a higher level, and we have done just that. Bubba and the No. 23 team earned the organization our first win and first pole award, and with a career-best four consecutive top-10 finishes heading into Richmond this weekend, Bubba is continuing to get more competitive each week.”
Additionally, Wallace chimed in on social media, confirming the official announcement from his team. The No. 23 driver said, “I’d like to be the first to address that those rumors are completely true. LETS GOO!!” Clearly excited to continue his venture with the recently developed team, Wallace now has a home for years to come.
Furthermore, the team’s co-owner said, “We’re excited to see his growth as he and the team work toward achieving our goals.”
Bubba Wallace Cares Deeply About 23XI Racing Family
While Kevin Harvick took owned the winner’s circle after the FireKeepers Casino 400, Wallace mourned as the runner-up. Unable to pass separate from Joey Logano in a restart with 34 laps remaining, the No. 23 never regained the momentum to catch Harvick. But finishing 2.9 seconds behind the winner isn’t good enough for Wallace.
While Logano strived to make Wallace’s day a living hell, his competition called him “Defensive Player of The Year”. And while the nickname comes in jest, Wallace’s disappointment in himself is serious.
After the race, the No. 23 said, “I will wear this one on my heart for a while. I failed everybody.” Furthermore, Wallace expressed disappointment in letting down his crew. “Hate it,” Wallace said bluntly. “Hate it for our team. Sucks.”