Tyler Reddick Wants Michael Jordan’s NASCAR Team to Push Bubba Wallace Amid Glimmering Playoffs Hopes

Published 09/11/2023, 8:25 AM EDT

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Tyler Reddick is undoubtedly having the time of his career so far in the 2023 NASCAR Cup Series playoffs. In the two playoff races, he finished second and first, respectively, cementing his place in the final 12. For the last round of 16 race at Bristol, Reddick has a different goal and has urged his team to do the same, getting Bubba Wallace into the round of 12.

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Bubba Wallace and Tyler Reddick are drivers for 23XI Racing, which is owned by Denny Hamlin and NBA legend Michael Jordan. Hamlin was the man Reddick beat to the finish line in Kansas to punch his ticket to the next round. But as far as the team goes, there is still a lot left to be done in the final race of the first round of playoff races.

Tyler Reddick looks to ease teammate Bubba Wallace’s misery

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The 23XI Racing car has looked rapid for both Bubba and Reddick so far into the playoffs, and it is expected to be quick in Bristol as well. In the first playoff race at Darlington, Reddick finished second behind Kyle Larson, and Bubba Wallace finished in seventh place.

It might not sound as impressive as No. 45’s result, but Wallace had fallen behind in the pack after an incident at the end of stage one and drove an outstanding recovery drive to come back and finish in the top 10, proving that the 23XI Racing car had the pace to challenge the big boys. With just one race to go in the round of 16, Bubba Wallace is 19 points behind the cutline and has a lot of work to do in Bristol.

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Teammate Reddick believes that the team should do everything possible to help Wallace get into the playoffs, as it would be an advantage for the team as the season goes on. “I would love for both of our cars to continue on so like I said, the more that, just the whole organization, can keep in the playoff mindset, that’s gonna be good for us. Keeping us both up in the mix, obviously,” said Reddick.

“The more cars that our organization we can stably have in the playoffs, it’s certainly gonna help our odds as we get closer to Phoenix,” the Kansas race winner added.

For Bubba Wallace, it is a situation kind of similar to what he faced in Daytona. Everything left to do in the last race of the round Only this time, things are worse. The 23XI man is down 19 points, and he will have to bet everything he has after the disappointment that was Kansas.

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Bubba Wallace blames himself for Kansas’s outcome

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Speaking after the race, Wallace was happy that Reddick won but he was not happy with what had transpired on the track.

“I got loose like 5 laps before but I realized that was kind of like my line and my approach to exit turn 4 and then 3 or 4 laps later it blew out…no indication going into one so I’m p****d at myself that I wasn’t closer to the fence,” the 23XI Racing man said.

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“Maybe we would’ve got less damage but you’re never going to get a flat tire or blow a tire when you are running 20th, you’re gonna get it when you are really fast and lights out versus the competition,” he added.

Going into Bristol, Bubba will have a mountain to climb to get into the last 12 of the playoffs. Even with his teammate helping him through the race, the 29-year-old is giving everything he has, and one can be certain that he will not go down without a fight.

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Written by:

Nilavro Ghosh

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Nilavro Ghosh is a NASCAR Writer at EssentiallySports. He started his journey as a motorsports fan with Moto GP and Formula One, before gravitating towards NASCAR a few years back. The high-octane nature of stock car racing paired with the racecraft on display drew him into the sport.
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Edited by:

Shivali Nathta

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