23XI Racing announced Friday that they have signed driver Bubba Wallace to a multi-year contract extension. Wallace will continue to drive the team's No. 23 Toyota, which he first piloted in 2021 as the team's inaugural hire.
News of a contract extension for Wallace had been expected. Multiple reports over the past several weeks stated that a contract extension for Wallace was in the works, with the 28-year old from Mobile, Ala. reportedly impressing decision-makers with the progress he and his team have shown in their second season together.
"It feels great to get this renewal done and to know I have a home at 23XI Racing," Wallace said in a team press release. "Thanks to [team co-owner Michael Jordan] and Denny [Hamlin] for continuing to believe in me. We've come a long way together in less than two years and we've checked off some major goals along the way – including the team's first win and first pole. We know we still have work to do, both on and off the race track, but I feel good about our team and the direction we're heading."
Wallace was first hired by 23XI Racing late in 2020, when it was announced that NBA icon Michael Jordan and NASCAR Cup Series star Denny Hamlin would team up to field a full-time Cup team with Wallace as their driver. Wallace has since carried the banner for the team's growth, scoring three top 10s -- all of which were top fives -- in 2021. Last October, Wallace scored the first win in team history by winning at Talladega, becoming the first African-American driver to win a Cup Series race in NASCAR's modern era and only the second overall.
Wallace began the 2022 season with a second-place finish in the Daytona 500, before most of the first half of the season would come to be defined by crew miscues and missed opportunities. But in July, Wallace and his team were able to turn things around with the best streak of his young career. Since New Hampshire, Wallace has scored three top five and four top 10 finishes, including last weekend at Michigan where he won his first career pole and finished second.
Signing Wallace to a long-term deal is yet another step in formulating 23XI Racing's future,that Tyler Reddick would drive for them beginning in 2024. 23XI expanded from one to two full-time cars with the hiring of Kurt Busch for 2022, but Busch and has since missed the past four races due to concussion-like symptoms suffered in a crash at Pocono.