On Sunday, Bubba Wallace took the checkered flag at Kansas Speedway. He simultaneously silenced his haters and made NASCAR history. Wallace has had a wild season in this Next Gen car. Of course, he took over Kurt Busch’s No. 45 for the owner’s championship and is in the next round with a win this weekend. 23XI sweeps at Kansas this season and now, anything can happen.
Bubba Wallace won at Talladega last year. But, in a rain-shortened race, the doubters and haters just got louder and doubled down on their feelings about the racecar driver. With his win at Kansas over team owner Denny Hamlin, he’s silenced them.
“Man, just so proud of this team. So proud of the effort that they put in each and every week. Just thankful for the opportunity right? Took this jump from an idea two years ago from a text from Denny, before it all even happened, he was ready to get the deal done,” he said on the track after the race. He then thanked his team, 23XI, owners Michael Jordan and Denny Hamlin, as well as his fans.
He finished it up by saying he was, “Just thankful, thankful for the opportunity. And, thankful to shut the hell up for a lot of people.”
This was more than just about haters and fans though. In the background of this major individual and team accomplishment is something bigger, history.
Bubba Wallace Makes History Again
So, now that Bubba Wallace has claimed his second Cup Series victory – he is the only Black driver to win multiple races in NASCAR’s premier series. An accomplishment that is a cherry on top as far as Wallace is concerned. The No. 45 driver talked about it in his press conference a bit.
“It’s incredible. Just makes you think back to when it all started 20 years ago. How we were just showing up to races each and every weekend. My dad would always look for the stiffest competition to make us better and it was a lot of fun.”
“We just want to show up and win,” Wallace said later in the statement. “And whatever history comes in after that, it all comes in behind because there’s no greater thing than winning.”
23XI and Bubba Wallace are in the Round of 12 as far as the owner’s championship is concerned. How high up can the driver take his team when the playoffs are final?