Bubba Wallace Learns from Observing Denny Hamlin, Kevin Harvick as He Progresses in NASCAR Cup Series

Published 04/17/2021, 8:45 AM EDT
Feb 28, 2021; Homestead, Florida, USA; NASCAR Cup Series driver Bubba Wallace(23) races during the Dixie Vodka 400 Homestead-Miami Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Bubba Wallace and 23XI Racing are still looking for a big finish in their maiden NASCAR Cup Series season. However, it is quite evident that they are making constant gains. Wallace has looked like a top-10 car on more than one occasion, even leading a few laps last weekend at Martinsville.


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However, finishing has kind of let down the team so far. Wallace’s best finish is 16th place, which he has made possible in three races so far. Taking the next step soon enough is important, Wallace has stressed.

While the No. 23 team has shown they are very much there for top-15 contention, Wallace said he can’t just settle for that for a few more weeks; he needs to make the most of his car.


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“Gotta look at how we can take a 15th-place car and make it 12th, instead of just salvaging, rooting, and gouging for 15th,” Wallace said ahead of this weekend’s race at Richmond.

Making sure I get all the potential out of the race car by the end of the race. Improving on that is probably the biggest thing,” he added.

What does Bubba Wallace take away from Denny Hamlin and Kevin Harvick?

To do that, Wallace is closely observing 23XI Racing co-owner Denny Hamlin and another Cup Series superstar in Kevin Harvick. While getting the most out of the car is important, Wallace wants to master the art of competing at the front even on days when the car isn’t among the best; that is what he has learned from Hamlin and Harvick.

Feb 14, 2021; Daytona Beach, Florida, USA; NASCAR Cup Series driver Bubba Wallace (23) gets ready for the restart of the Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

You look at Denny in some races, you look at Harvick in some races, where they’re not the best car that day by any means, but they still get the best finish they could that day,” Wallace said further.

“Getting a better understanding for sure”

The 27-year-old senses that he was actually at least three to four spots better than where he is finishing week after week. Not actually finishing those many spots higher can get frustrating, but working week after week to reach that level is what counts, feels Wallace.

“I look back on what I’m doing – putting ourselves in a predicament where it’s like, ‘Ahh, that was a little sketchy’ or getting damage to the car late and you have no chance,” Wallace explained.


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That is all coming and (I’m) getting a better understanding of that, for sure,” he said further.

Every week is a new learning process for Wallace and the team, in their first season together. Wallace will aim to implement those learnings this Sunday at Richmond and score the team’s best finish yet.


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Aayush Majumdar

1006 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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