NASCAR: Denny Hamlin Explains Reasoning For Extending Bubba Wallace’s Contract

by Nick Geddes

NASCAR Cup Series driver Bubba Wallace is enjoying the zenith of his career thus far.

Four top-10 finishes in a row. His first career pole in the Cup Series. A second-place finish at Michigan International Speedway last Sunday. The 28-year-old has progressed in his second season with 23XI Racing and has been rewarded for it. 23XI Racing announced Friday that they signed Wallace to a multi-year extension, locking him up for the foreseeable future.

Denny Hamlin, team co-owner, spoke about re-signing Wallace ahead of Sunday’s Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond Raceway. Hamlin, the Joe Gibbs Racing star, said that Wallace’s contract was “warranted.”

“Bubba’s contract and extension with us was definitely well warranted from what I’ve seen this season, not just including the last four weeks,” Hamlin said, via Bob Pockrass of Fox Sports.

Hamlin further elaborated Friday shortly after 23XI Racing made the announcement.

“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,” Hamlin said. “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.”

Bubba Wallace Getting Closer to Victory Lane

While the points standings may not reflect it, as Wallace sits 19th, the recent results show his improvement over the course of the season. The four top-10s have come after notching just two in his first 19 starts. But Wallace is hungry for one thing, and that’s another taste of victory lane.

He had his chance at Michigan, but came up just short. It was Kevin Harvick punching his ticket to the playoffs, not Wallace. Wallace wears his emotions on his sleeve and expressed his disappointment with the second-place finish.

“I will wear this one on my heart for a while. I failed everybody,” Wallace said. “Hate it,” Wallace said bluntly. “Hate it for our team. Sucks.”