Bubba Wallace
27-Year-Old Driver  
23XI Racing
2021 Fantasy Outlook
Little did Wallace know entering his contract season at Richard Petty Motorsports how things would unfold last year. He was likely racing for a new job and new team, but would have never guessed how things would play out. After a five Top-10 finish and 22nd-place points finish campaign, Wallace landed a bunch of new sponsors and grabbed the attention of Denny Hamlin and Michael Jordan. The duo put together a new team with Wallace's bevvy of new sponsors called 23XI Racing. The team purchased the charter of the now-defunct Germain Racing and will field Toyotas acquired from Leavine Family Racing. Mike Wheeler will assume the crew chief responsibilities and brings five career victories and 148 starts of Cup Series experience to the table. It will be new adventure for Wallace and likely an increase in performance right away, but we would caution against unreasonable expectations for this driver and team this season. Read Past Outlooks
Starting from rear Sunday
April 25, 2021
Wallace is starting from the rear in Sunday's GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway due to unapproved adjustments with his NNo. 23 Toyota.
Wallace is one of five Toyota drivers that will be starting from the rear in Sunday's race. Wallace averages a finish of 25 or worse so his demotion to the back of the group likely won't change where he typically ends up.
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
Wallace is entering a contract year at Richard Petty Motorsports. The last two seasons in the No. 43 Chevrolet haven't shown much growth for the young driver. Wallace has managed nearly identical average start and average finish (around 24.0) marks for both campaigns, and he's finished 28th-place in the driver points both seasons. It really has been a flat line performance to this point. RPM will be taking a long, hard look at Wallace this season. With sponsorship getting tougher and tougher to come by, results need to start happening on the track in order for Wallace to secure a contract extension here. That pressure will either galvanize this youngster and he'll step up, or he could completely fold under that pressure. It's tough to predict. However, we do note that he only cracked the Top 20 twice in the final eight events of 2019.
Richard Petty Motorsports welcomes Wallace back for season two in the No. 43 Chevrolet. Last season's Rookie of the Year candidate started strong out of the gates with his runner-up finish in the Daytona 500, but it was a much different story from there on out. The Mobile, Alabama native labored to just two more Top 10s during the season for a total of three for the campaign. Wallace's 24.5 average finish over the course of last season resulted in a 28th-place finish in the final driver standings. We expect some marginal improvement for this driver and team over last season. After all, Aric Almirola was piloting this same car to six or seven Top 10s per year and high teen to low 20 standings finishes for many seasons. Wallace has similar potential. Crew chief Drew Blickensderfer will continue calling the shots as we see this driver continue to grow this season.
Wallace will finally get his crack at the top level of NASCAR in 2018. He takes over the No. 43 Chevrolet of Richard Petty Motorsports and fills the seat that Aric Almirola vacated. Wallace comes over from Roush Fenway Racing's Xfinity Series team where in five seasons he managed 35 Top-10 finishes and grabbed a top standings finish of seventh-place in 2015. He made four relief appearances for Almirola last season in the No. 43 Ford during his back injury hiatus. The 24-year-old driver performed impressively in those outings collecting two Top-15 and three Top-20 finishes. The relief duty served as an audition for Richard Petty Motorsports, and they saw all they needed to see to give Wallace the ride for 2018. RPM will shift from Ford to Chevrolet in the upcoming season, so Wallace and this team have lots of upside.
Wallace's 2016 season failed to measure up to expectations in a few ways. His Top 10 totals dropped from 14 to nine over the previous year, and he slipped from seventh to 11th in the overall driver standings over 2015. Once again he was held out of victory lane and saw his average finish drop from 11.8 to 15.7 year-over-year. The downturn in performance was disappointing and saw Wallace nowhere near making the Chase for the Cup playoff. Roush Fenway Racing is in a bit of turmoil right now and it's showing up in this race team. Wallace will return for another full schedule in 2017 although not much is known about the team's makeup or the sponsorship package. This young driver will likely face some headwinds again in his pursuit of success in the Xfinity Series.
Wallace didn’t have quite the season we expected for his first full-time effort in the Xfinity Series last year. He claimed no wins and only 14 Top-10 finishes in a season that lacked a lot of week-to-week consistency. Wallace only led 85 total laps during his rookie campaign, so it seemed this team lacked some speed when compared to others. The young driver will get a new crew chief in season two. Matt Puccia takes over atop the No. 6 team’s war wagon and will guide Wallace to hopefully a better season in 2016. While victories are probably a slim hope at this point, we would expect to see a generous increase in Top-5 and Top-10 finishes in the upcoming campaign.
The most dominant car and team in the last five years of Nationwide Series competition return in 2013. While the driver lineup is still in flux at this point, it’s clear that Joe Gibbs Racing star Busch could return for a few events this season. Outside of Busch the driver lineup should include a few Sprint Cup Series drivers and youngster Darrell Wallace Jr. This strong team racked up a series-leading seven victories and 28 Top-10 finishes last season and that was with a rotating driver lineup as well. The 18-year-old driver Wallace picked up three Top 10’s in four starts with this team, and that speaks volumes of the top car in the Nationwide Series.
More Fantasy News
Starting at rear after 2x fails
February 14, 2021
Wallace will have to start at the rear of Sunday's Daytona 500 after failing inspections multiple times, Bob Pockrass of Fox Sports reports.
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Runner-up Finish in Duel 2
February 12, 2021
Wallace finished second in the Bluegreen Vacations Duel 2 for the Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway Thursday night.
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Leads Opening Daytona 500 Practice
February 10, 2021
Wallace was fastest in opening practice for the Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway Wednesday afternoon. He turned a fast lap of 199.747 mph.
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Crew Chief Named
October 30, 2020
Denny Hamlin confirmed Friday that Mike Wheeler will be Wallace's crew chief next season for 23XI Racing, the team owned by Hamlin and Michael Jordan, NBC Sports reports.
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Driving for Jordan and Hamlin
September 21, 2020
Wallace announced via his personal Twitter account Monday that he's partnering with Michael Jordan and Denny Hamlin for a single-car NASCAR Cup Series in 2021.
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