Bubba Wallace Returns to Xfinity Series at Michigan


Bubba Wallace prepares for a race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

For the first time since 2017, 23XI Racing’s Bubba Wallace is heading back to the NASCAR Xfinity Series. He will suit up for the New Holland 250 at Michigan International Speedway (3:30 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Network) and will drive for Hattori Racing Enterprises.

The racing team made the announcement on Monday, Aug. 16. Camping World Truck Series driver Austin Hill was the original driver of the No. 61 AISIN Toyota Supra for the race while running double-duty for Hattori Racing Enterprises. However, he will focus on the first race of the Truck Series playoffs at World Wide Technology Raceway on Friday, Aug. 20.

“I’m excited to race again in the Xfinity Series,” Wallace said, per “Jayski.” “Michigan is a track where I’ve run well in the past and even won in the Truck Series. Anytime we can get extra track time, it helps. Just to get extra laps before the Cup race on Sunday will be good with no practice or qualifying. Thanks to everyone at HRE and Toyota for the opportunity to run the AISIN Supra this weekend. Hopefully we can go out and have a strong race and put ourselves in contention at the end of the day.”

Wallace Has Extensive Experience in the Xfinity Series

The 23XI Racing driver has a considerable amount of experience in the NASCAR Xfinity Series. He first suited up during the 2012 season, making four starts and finishing top-10 three separate times. He also won the pole at Dover International Speedway.

Wallace made two more starts in the Xfinity Series in 2014 while finishing out his Truck Series career before making the leap to a full-time ride. He started all 66 races in 2015 and 2016 for Roush Fenway Racing, registering six top-five finishes. Wallace’s Xfinity Series career came to an end after 13 more starts, 12 with Roush Fenway before he moved up to the Cup Series and joined Richard Petty Motorsports in 2018.

“We appreciate Bubba and are excited to have him drive our AISIN Toyota Supra,” Shige Hattori said in a press release from the team. “It’s great to have him and his Cup Series experience part of our Xfinity program. We want to have a strong start to the Camping World Trucks playoffs at Gateway with Austin and have another great chance to compete for a championship. This allows both of our teams to be prepared and run well for AISIN, Toyota, TRD, and all of our partners.”

Wallace Will Seek a Second Win at Michigan

The current driver of the No. 23 Toyota Camry has yet to win a race at Michigan in the Xfinity or Cup Series, but he has past success in the Camping World Truck Series. Wallace suited up for MDM Motorsports for one race during the 2017 season and headed to Michigan International Speedway.

Wallace climbed into the No. 99 Chevrolet and faced off with some of the biggest stars in NASCAR. He led 11 laps, holding off Kyle Busch, Christopher Bell, Austin Cindric, Noah Gragson, and Ben Rhodes among others to reach Victory Lane.

The victory marked a special moment in Wallace’s career. He had lost his Xfinity seat with Roush Fenway Racing after 12 races due to a lack of sponsorship. Wallace remained out of action from mid-June until August when he locked up the win at Michigan.

Wallace also made two prior Truck Series starts at Michigan while driving for Kyle Busch Motorsports. He crashed during the 2013 race and finished 21st overall while James Buescher won. Wallace returned to Michigan in 2014 and turned in an 11th-place finish.

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