“Hard Guy to Pass” – Denny Hamlin Lauds Bubba Wallace’s Talent and Shows Optimism for 23XI Racing

Published 03/16/2021, 12:45 PM EDT
Feb 21, 2021; Daytona Beach, Florida, USA; NASCAR Cup Series driver Bubba Wallace (23) and NASCAR Cup Series driver Daniel Suarez (99) during the O’Reilly Auto Parts 253 at Daytona International Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports


On Sunday, championship leader Denny Hamlin ended his race in third place. During the post-race interview, he spoke about how his race unfolded. In addition to that, he even talked about Bubba Wallace and the 23XI Racing team, one that Hamlin co-owns.

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“He’s one of those drivers, if you put him up front. It’ll probably happen in a 750hp track, he’ll be a hard guy to pass. I was racing him, but I was trying to figure out how to get past him as quick as I could. It was a very important part of the race, I don’t know where he finished, but he had a solid day. My team said that he had some decent speed.

“Got a long way to go, but we’re working really hard to get them in a position by fall where they’re competing inside the top 10 on a regular basis,” he said.

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Hamlin insisted that he is trying to build the foundation for the team’s success. Of course, he acknowledged that they have a long way to go, but Hamlin is confident that they will eventually get there. The driver revealed that the team’s goal is to get into the Top 10 by fall.

Mar 14, 2021; Avondale, Arizona, USA; NASCAR Cup Series driver Denny Hamlin (11) drives during the NASCAR Instacart 500 at Phoenix Raceway. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

How did the race pan out for Denny Hamlin and Bubba Wallace?

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While Hamlin finished third, Bubba Wallace could only muster 16th fastest on the track. On the bright side, this is his best finish so far in the 2021 Cup Series campaign. While he would have preferred a higher finish, but there is plenty of time for him climb up the ladder.

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

This is 23XI Racing’s first season in the Cup Series, so the expectations will be kept realistic. However, it will not stop the likes of co-owner Michael Jordan from being a little ambitious. With a driver like Bubba Wallace, the team should be destined for great things in the future. For now, Wallace will be looking forward to the Next Gen test at Richmond and the Cup race at Atlanta.

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DIVE DEEPER

Bubba Wallace Set to Test NASCAR Next Gen Car at Richmond Raceway This Week

about 2 months ago

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Dhruv George

11406 articles

Dhruv George is a senior Formula One and NASCAR analyst for EssentiallySports, having authored nearly 12000 articles spanning different sports like F1, NASCAR, Tennis, NFL, and eSports. He graduated with a PG Diploma in Journalism from the Xavier Institute of Communications. Dhruv has also conducted interviews with F1 driver Pierre Gasly and Moto2 rider Tony Arbolino.

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