23XI Racing has announced a major change for the remaining races. Bubba Wallace will move to the #45 Toyota Camry TRD while Ty Gibbs will drive the #23 Toyota Camry TRD.
The Cup Series announced the news on August 31 press release. According to the information provided, the reason is that Toyota is #45 in the owner’s championship because of Kurt Bosch’s victory at Kansas Speedway. Wallace’s entry mode offers the best chance of a deep tour of the battle for the owner’s championship.
“After consulting with NASCAR, we made this decision in the best interest of the entire organization and all of our employees who helped secure a place in the playoffs for the Owner’s Championship through their hard work,” said Team Principal Steve Lolita.
“While Ty did a great job for us in the #45 car, we feel that Bubba’s experience in this car, in the upcoming qualifying tracks, and his recent momentum will give 23XI the best chance of maximizing our points each weekend. We know this is a unique opportunity in the Cup Series, and we are grateful To our employees and partners for standing with the team and supporting this decision.”
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Crew Chiefs will remain the same
Changing the number to number 45 provides the best shot to compete for the owner’s championship. However, no change will occur above the primary funds or partners of each car.
23XI Racing has confirmed that Bootie Barker will continue to work with Wallace while he’s driving the #45. They’ve been together since September 16th when 23XI Racing promoted Mike Wheeler to competition manager and made Parker the new crew chief for the #23 team.
There were disagreements between Parker and Wallace, which became a talking point after the trip to the Nashville Superspeedway. They have also had success together. They celebrated their win at the Talladega Superspeedway in 2021 and enjoyed four weeks of top-10 and fifth positions.
Gibbs will continue to work with Billy Scott as he serves as an injury substitute for Kurt Bosch. Scott was appointed head of the team’s 45th crew before the 2022 season, and has remained in that capacity ever since while working with separate drivers. The score was nine in the top 10 (eight with Bush), five in the top five, and one trip to Victory Lane at Kansas Speedway.
This step remains beneficial for both drivers
Why is 23XI Racing making this move? There are multiple reasons. First, Wallace has more Cup Series experience than Gibbs, who will also have to focus on competing for the Xfinity Series Championship. Joe Gibbs’ grandson won’t have to worry about the added pressure of the owner’s tournament while doing double-task each week.
Another reason is that Wallace will have bigger stakes each time he fits in. He will be able to compete in a different form of playoffs as he tries to build on the momentum of his best career season.
Wallace will gain crucial playing experience as he prepares for the races in which he has previously finished in the top 10. This includes Bristol Motor Speedway, Texas Motor Speedway, Kansas Motor Speedway, Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Phoenix Racecourse and Talladega Superspeedway.
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