Denny Hamlin Performs an Absurd U-Turn, Throws His Own Driver Bubba Wallace to the Wolves

Published 07/15/2023, 4:25 PM EDT

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Nothing matters more to an employee than having the confidence of their boss. It is no secret that Denny Hamlin has always been supportive of Bubba Wallace. Throughout the Alabama-born driver’s struggles, Hamlin has been very vocal with his backing. However, the 23XI Racing co-owner’s recent comments came as a massive surprise.

Safe to say, more often than not Wallace has been at the receiving end of severe criticism. While Hamlin’s positivity has always pushed him to ignore them, things are about to change with his boss’s recent change of stance.

Denny Hamlin makes an unbelievable admission involving Bubba Wallace following the race in Atlanta


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Over the years, Bubba Wallace has slowly but surely progressed. Considering his 19th-placed finish last season, Denny Hamlin was optimistic of Wallace making it big this season. Earlier in the campaign, Hamlin spoke highly of the #23 driver in the first episode of his podcast Actions Detrimental.

The 42-year-old had then declared his expectations from Wallace to make it at least to the playoffs. While he said that, the 2021 YellaWood 500 winner didn’t have a great start to his 2023 season. He failed to finish the first two races at Daytona and California.

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Since then, a lot happened with Wallace making an impressive comeback which included four top-five finishes in May. However, his form in the last five races hasn’t been great with only a couple of finishes inside the top 20. Because of his 25th-placed finish in Atlanta last Sunday, he now stands in 17th place, three points below the playoff mark.

With just seven races left in the regular season, it only gets more interesting. However, Hamlin’s comments this week must have been a huge blow to Wallace’s confidence. While discussing the playoff picture on his podcast, Hamlin predicted two drivers who are likely to make it in his opinion.

Unfortunately, Wallace wasn’t one of them. As per the 3x Daytona 500 winner, Chase Elliott and Daniel Suarez have the best chance. This certainly would be a dent in Wallace’s aspiration seeing how his boss failed to show faith in him. What’s worse is Hamlin showed more belief in Elliott who currently stands 57 points behind Wallace.

It must have been heartbreaking for the #23 driver given how a lot of confidence was shown in him at the start of the season. Having said that, Hamlin explained why he thinks Elliott stands a bright chance of still making it to the playoffs.

WATCH THIS STORY: HMS Legend Destroys Bubba Wallace After Disappointing Michael Jordan at Chicago

Denny Hamlin remains confident of Chase Elliott making it to the playoffs


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Chase Elliott was truly unfortunate to have missed out on races because of his snowboarding injury early in the season. That being said, he still has a chance to make it to the playoffs, at least Denny Hamlin strongly believes he does. Speaking on the same podcast, Hamlin explained why he thinks so.

He believes Elliott is bound to dominate the proceedings at Richmond Raceway and Michigan International Speedway as the race tracks suit him. Hamlin said, “He’s finishing well and he’s getting stage points now. I mean he’s good everywhere, so it’s really hard to say there’s maybe the Superspeedways he’s not as good but I would still put him almost right there on the edge of one of the top five guys on Superspeedways as well.


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“So Elliot’s in. I don’t care how you mix this thing up with seven to go. Racing against these guys he’s faster, he’s got better results and he’s going to get more stage points.”



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While Hamlin remains very sure of Elliott, it is amazing what Bubba Wallace makes about this. Will he be able to prove his boss wrong? Let us know in the comments below.


Written by:

Priyank Mithani


One take at a time

Priyank Mithani is a NASCAR writer at EssentiallySports with a passion for motorsports that began in his childhood. Over the years, he has been following the sport meticulously, and his insights are highly respected within the NASCAR community. Priyank is a devoted fan of Kyle Busch and has closely followed his career for years.
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Edited by:

Nischal Kandpal