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Bubba Wallace, Michael Jordan's 23XI Racing Agree to Multiyear Contract Extension

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVAugust 12, 2022

Quinn Harris/Getty Images

NASCAR Cup Series driver Bubba Wallace and 23XI Racing announced Friday that they agreed to a multiyear contract extension.

According to Jenna Fryer of the Associated Press, Wallace said the following about re-upping with the team co-owned by NBA legend Michael Jordan and three-time Daytona 500 winning driver Denny Hamlin:

"It feels great to get this renewal done and to know I have a home at 23XI Racing. Thanks to M.J. and Denny for continuing to believe in me. We've come a long way together in less than two years and we've checked off some major goals along the way. We know we still have work to do, both on and off the race track, but I feel good about our team and the direction weโ€™re heading."

Stock car racing has long been a sport predominantly made up of white males, but Wallace and 23XI looked to break the mold with a Black driver in Wallace and a Black owner in Jordan.

Wallace and the team have made significant strides since the partnership was first announced in 2020 and have helped open NASCAR to new demographics.

Last season, Wallace won his first career Cup Series race late in the year at Talladega, and while he hasn't won yet this season, he has seemingly been on the verge of a breakthrough.

Wallace finished second in the Daytona 500 to start the year and finished second in the most recent race at Michigan last week. He has finished eighth or better in each of the past four races with three top-five finishes as well.

With three races remaining before the playoffs begin, Wallace is 19th in points and 20th in the standings overall.

A race win essentially guarantees a driver a spot in the playoffs, and since 15 different drivers have won a race this season and four non-winning drivers have more points than him, Wallace needs to win one of the next three races to reach the playoffs for the first time.

Even if Wallace falls short of the playoffs, he is in position to have the best points finish of his career, bettering his 21st-place result from last season.

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