Bubba Wallace Aims to Join Jimmie Johnson, Chase Elliott, Kyle Busch, and Others in Elite NASCAR Club

Published 01/27/2021, 9:45 AM EST
FORT WORTH, TEXAS – NOVEMBER 02: Bubba Wallace, driver of the #43 Covert Auto Group Chevrolet, walks on the grid during the Salute to Veterans Qualifying Day Fueled by The Texas Lottery for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)


Bubba Wallace quite clearly expressed his goals for the 2021 NASCAR season. Michael Jordan’s winning mentality seems to have translated nicely into Wallace’s thought process too as he aims to win at least two races in his debut year with 23XI Racing.

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Wallace is yet to win a NASCAR Cup Series race. While winning multiple races in a season on the back of a winless run sounds like a daunting task, it is is actually quite achievable.

If Wallace really does manage to achieve his goals, he will join an elite list of fellow Cup Series stars who won multiple races despite going into the season without a single win.

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Which other drivers can Bubba Wallace join in this elite club?

The most recent example of the same is none other than reigning Cup champion, Chase Elliott. Back in 2018, Elliott won three races, which were his first three Cup Series visits to Victory Lane.

AVONDALE, ARIZONA – NOVEMBER 08: Chase Elliott, driver of the #9 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet, and his crew chief Alan Gustafson pose for a photo after winning the NASCAR Cup Series Season Finale 500 and the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series Championship at Phoenix Raceway in Avondale, Arizona. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

That season was the start of something special, and just two years later, he already has 11 Cup wins and a title. Wallace will be extremely glad if he can achieve something similar.

Elliott’s former Hendrick Motorsports teammate, seven-time title winner Jimmie Johnson, is another driver with three wins (in 2002) on the back of a winless run. Only two drivers have the most number of wins in a Cup season after going winless before that – Carl Edwards (in 2005), and Kurt Busch (2002) won four races each.

Kurt’s younger brother, Kyle Busch joins a host of superstar drivers with two wins each in their first-win seasons. This list includes Hall of Famer Dale Earnhardt Jr. (2000), Kevin Harvick (2001), Busch (2002), Denny Hamlin in 2006, and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. in 2017.

If Wallace can join these drivers in this elite club, his debut season with 23XI Racing will be a successful one for sure.

DAYTONA BEACH, FL – JULY 05: Bubba Wallace, driver of the #43 U.S. Air Force Chevrolet, stands by his car during practice for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Coke Zero Sugar 400 at Daytona International Speedway on July 5, 2018 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

All roads lead to the 2021 Daytona 500

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The first stop in this task will be the iconic Daytona 500, where Wallace has registered his highest finish in the Cup Series so far. The then-Richard Petty Motorsports driver finished second in the 2018 Daytona 500.

With the 23XI Racing car, there is no reason why Wallace cannot bag the biggest win of his career yet. However, he will have to face the challenge from one of his 23XI Racing owners, Denny Hamlin, who is the two-time defending champion in the season-opening race.

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DIVE DEEPER

“Two Wins This Year” – Bubba Wallace Reveals Specific Goals For NASCAR Debut With 23XI Racing

3 months ago

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Aayush Majumdar

948 articles

Aayush Majumdar is a NASCAR content strategist, a Tennis Writer, and a sports analyst at EssentiallySports. He is well-tenured as a tennis and NASCAR writer, with over 900 articles across both sports. After pursuing a Post Graduate program in Sports Management, Aayush explored various roles in Sports Media, including a Sports Reporting role at a leading English daily.

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