Bubba Wallace is making his debut for his new 23XI team today at the Daytona 500, though things didn’t get off to the start they would have wanted.

Slated to start the race sixth, Wallace’s car failed pre-race inspection twice, and he ended up having to start the race at the rear of the field.


The No. 23 23XI Racing Toyota driven by Bubba Wallace will start at the rear of the field after failing pre-race inspection twice before the Daytona 500 (2:30 p.m. ET on FOX, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).

Wallace was set to roll off sixth in the first Cup race for the Michael Jordan-Denny Hamlin co-owned organization after placing second in the second of two Bluegreen Vacations Duel at Daytona.

As a result of the multiple failures, car chief Greg Emmer has been ejected.

Wallace didn’t seem too concerned about the situation:

While it’s certainly not the ideal start, being moved to the back at Daytona isn’t the worst thing in the world. Not only is a large group of cars also being shuffled back (for making mechanical changes after qualifying), but hanging out in the back for the start of the race is a very viable strategy at a restrictor plate race. The reason: avoiding the potential for huge wrecks as cars further up the field jockey for position.

And, indeed, that proved to be the case:

Fortunately everyone was okay, though plenty of cars were knocked out of the race and we’re still under a lengthy delay.

Wallace still has a very good chance at a high finish, which would be a fantastic debut for the new team.


About Jay Rigdon

Jay is a writer and editor for The Comeback, and a contributor at Awful Announcing. He is not a strong swimmer.