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Bubba Wallace’s Playoff Journey Hangs by a Thread – Can He Rewrite His Fate?

Published 10/01/2023, 1:19 PM EDT

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USA Today via Reuters

Bubba Wallace, driving for 23XI Racing, is standing at the crossroads between victory and fate. Wallace is fighting to keep his playoff dreams alive, teetering on the edge of advancement and elimination, with his future hinging on the race of a lifetime at Talladega Superspeedway.

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Positioned ninth in the points, Bubba Wallace and his team are pushing the boundaries, fighting tooth and nail to secure their spot in the next round of the Cup Series playoffs. The racing asphalt is sizzling, and Wallace is dancing on the fine line, a mere two points below the cutline. Can he rev up his engine and zoom past the finishing line, changing the course of his racing journey?

Bubba Wallace has his eyes set on the high-stakes battle in Talladega and he will “try not to be one of those”


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The picture is getting clearer in the 2023 Cup Series Playoffs, with races at Talladega and Charlotte Roval set to decide the fate of the championship-eligible drivers. William Byron, with his strategic maneuvers, claimed victory at Texas, and Wallace, though below the provisional elimination line, is not far behind, with just a two-point gap. 

“I think having an understanding that, usually when the playoffs start, there’s going to be at least two or three playoff cars that take care of themselves, whether that be failures, crashes, penalties – whatever that may be,” Wallace stated at a press conference in Talladega


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He further added, “Try not to be one of those. You go out and make sure you have a good day, execute solid, pit crew has a good day, crew chief, strategist, they execute solid. If that recipe is a 20th-place — OK, you missed it. But when you put yourself in a hole, it’s tough. That’s where the mistakes happen.”

WATCH THIS STORY: Bubba Wallace Hits Back at Media With a Blunt Message

While the narrative of Wallace’s performance in Texas speaks of what could’ve been, history recalls his crowning moment at Talladega Superspeedway in 2021. As the next race looms, whispers grow louder in the NASCAR corridors. Insiders are placing their bets, predicting a resurgent Wallace eyeing redemption. Will Talladega witness history once more? 

Can Wallace repeat history in one of his favorite tracks?


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Amidst the action, Wallace has given fans reasons to cheer. Earning a postseason berth for the first time, Wallace entered the Round of 12 with a commendable average finish of 17.6 in the first three races. And while victories elude him, his mantra remains consistent – advancement. “Advancing is advancing,” he says, eyes focused on the prize.

Denny Hamlin and Michael Jordan’s star driver stated in a recent interview, “I think we’re very capable of getting to the Round of 8. I look at the third round—those are really good racetracks. Going off what I watched last year in Homestead, the car looked really, really fast, so I’m excited to get there.

“Obviously there’s Vegas and Martinsville, so I think if we can just fight our b**ts off these next two weeks, it will be interesting to see what the #23 can do for the remainder of the playoffs.”


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The stakes are high, the adrenaline is pumping, and Wallace is in the driver’s seat, eyes set on the prize, hands gripping the wheel of destiny. The road ahead is challenging, a battlefield where speed is the weapon and victory is the only goal. 

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Written by:

Brahmi Dhaytadak


One take at a time

Brahmi Dhaytadak is a NASCAR Writer at EssentiallySports. She combines her love for F1, Tennis, and NASCAR into electrifying prose that sets the hearts of her readers racing. Whether it was the finesse of Charles Leclerc's maneuvers around Monaco or the artistry of Roger Federer's racket, everything inspired Brahmi to venture into the field of sports journalism.
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Edited by:

Nischal Kandpal