After a successful season, Bubba Wallace is making the next step with a new Cup Series team, 23XI Racing.
While his on-field performances were decent, it was his off-field actions that made Wallace known to a larger audience than he has ever had. His initiative to ban the Confederate flag in the sports was applauded by not just the personnel from NASCAR but from other disciplines too.
Additionally, he was in the midst of a noose incident, perceived to be directed against him but later denied by the investigations.
Sponsorships flew in for the driver and opportunity opened up for him to take the seat of the new team owned by Michael Jordon and Denny Hamlin.
At Richard Petty Motorsports, Wallace was not expected to be competing for wins, given the equipment he has had there. However, 23XI Racing was created with the purpose of going out to races to win. Wallace will have critics circling around for his performances on the race track.
Aware of the situation, he is not hiding away from the expectations that he will carry this coming season. Just like he became famous for his off-field actions, Wallace wants to prove his worth on the track.
“One thing that motivates me to get next year going is that I became a household name off the racetrack, Wallace said. “And it’s like, man, I want to become a household name on the racetrack. For the success we have.”
“There’s a lot of pressure on me to go out and perform and compete, so I’m excited about that. I think if you look at everything that was thrown at me this year, I can just up about manage my way through any rough traffic and handle the weight of that.”
Wallace had the best season in terms of statistics in the 2020 season, with five top-10 finishes. He might be on an upward trajectory for his performances, but this season will demand a lot more than was ever expected from him.