Bubba Wallace Aug 28, 2022; Daytona Beach, Florida, USA; NASCAR Cup Series driver Bubba Wallace (23) stands by his car during prerace festivities before the Coke Zero Sugar 400 at Daytona International Speedway. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

The 23XI team announced Thursday that Bubba Wallace will switch from the No. 23 car to the No. 45 car for the rest of the season. The team feels like their chances are better of winning the owners’ championship cup if Wallace was driving the No. 45.

“Kurt put us in the playoffs and isn’t able to finish out the mission,” Steve Lauletta, president of 23XI Racing, said to NASCAR.com. “We’re still qualified for the owners’ championship and now we’re looking to [Bubba] and Bootie [Barker, crew chief] and that team to take the No. 45 mantle and try to have our strongest run.”

Although Wallace didn’t make the playoffs this year, he did have seven top 14 finishes, including two second-place finishes this year, so it’s understandable why he is taking over the No. 45.

“Everybody knows the challenge,” Lauletta said. “We continue to work together to put both cars in position to be competitive. We want to continue the momentum with the No. 23 team and Bubba that we’ve had, and we want to continue to get Ty (Gibbs) more accustomed to this Cup car and the way races play out.”

“Since we started 23XI as a one-car team and grew to two cars, we’ve always said we are two cars but act as one team.”

As of now, the team is 12th in the owners standing in the No. 45 car. Since Kurt Busch has been sidelined because of an injury, Ty Gibbs, grandson of Job Gibbs has been driving the No. 45 in Busch’s place.


About Stacey Mickles

Stacey is a 1995 graduate of the University of Alabama who has previously worked for other publications such as Sportskeeda and Saturday Down South.