Wallace keen to work alongside Kurt Busch in 2022
“We started on the front page of 23XI Racing,” Bubba Wallace recently told SiriusXM NASCAR Radio as he explained the start of what has become the story of Denny Hamlin and Michael Jordan’s new NASCAR Cup team being created. “It’s an honor for me to build this, but with it comes a lot of pressure, a lot of difficult times. But when you surround yourself with the right team like the one we have, it makes those situations a little easier to get through. We just need to keep building on this notebook.
To help Hamlin, Jordan, Wallace and Toyota Racing Development build on this notebook during the 2022 season, new 23-year-old Cup veteran Kurt Busch. A refugee from the soon-to-be-closed Chip Ganassi Racing Cup, the 2004 Cup champion and 33-time race winner will join the aforementioned dream team by building a two-car racing effort into what will be twilight. of her career.
On Saturday night and shortly before stepping into the jaws of the # 23XI Toyota for tonight’s Federated Auto Parts 400, RACER caught up with Wallace for a quick overview of the organization’s immediate, near, and even distant future. race 23XI. . Currently listed in 27th place in Cup Series points and with a set goal of trying to close the year in the top 17 – Wallace has 535 points against current driver Austin Dillon’s total of 713 points – Wallace is watching tonight A 400-lap, 300-mile affair on the 0.75-mile Richmond Oval as the Top 17 launch site.
“Yeah, that’s basically how we are,” Wallace offered of his goal to move up five places in the points standings. “We want to be 17th in points and Darlington hasn’t been very good for us, so we have to bounce back and put that behind us and focus on tonight here in Richmond and the rest of the season. I’m looking forward to all of this and I think there are a lot of great leads ahead for us.
And from the recent announcement that veteran champion Kurt Busch would join Wallace in both building the infrastructure and overall performance of the 23XI effort, Wallace stressed that 2022 can’t really come quickly enough.
“Next year is going to be very different, especially with this new car and everything that goes with it,” Wallace said. “A new car with a new team is a lot to face but I think we have a good base under construction to help us get along and plan for the future. Having Kurt on board with us is going to be good, I think. I think Kurt has a lot of knowledge and a lot of talent and a lot of wisdom to help point us in the right direction. It’ll be fun. Kurt is already giving us some ideas to try out, so it will be fun.
“You know, I think Denny’s direction and vision keeps this team going in the right direction. We just have to keep doing what we’re doing and I just have to keep doing my job. We want to try to set up this program n ° 23XI and to be coherent. I think that’s one thing we’ve missed a bit this year. We lacked consistency. We try to do our best and that’s what I expect the most. We just have to get rid of the mistakes and come in with the stars and everything in line. it’s good to have the support of Denny and the team because this sport is very demanding. It’s exhausting and demanding, so when you have a team like this walking you through every step like this, it definitely helps with confidence.
“We have Denny and Michael and run the ship and they want to win and there’s really no cap for them, so they want to do whatever it takes and hire the right people and hire the right drivers, so to let them believe in me and my talents mean a lot.I have to deliver and can’t wait to be there.
What about Michel Jordan and his interest and enthusiasm for the 23XI racing team?
“He’s definitely a huge fan,” exclaimed Wallace of the NBA superhero. “A big fan. It was cool to hear his knowledge and help him understand racing a bit better, but he definitely arrived in all of this well prepared. It’s one thing about MJ: if he wants to do something, he’s going to do the best he can.
What about new teammate Kurt Busch and the future of the overall effect the Daytona 500 champion will have on him and the entire 23XI squad?
“I’ve gotten to know Kurt a little better over the past few months,” Wallace said before setting off to prepare for tonight’s race. “He’s a really genuine guy and a lot of fun to be around, but he also knows what it takes to be competitive and win races and obviously win championships. It will be fun to choose your brain to move forward over the next 15 months. We have a lot of work to do and I can’t wait to be there. “