Despite the fact that Bubba Wallace didn’t make it to the NASCAR 2022 Cup Series playoffs, he is still listed in the “playoff” category.
The 23XI Racing driver went winless in the 20202 NASCAR Cup Series regular season. He finished the regular season in 20th place. While he did manage to get win the second race of the round of 16 at Kansas Speedway.
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While he might have won a race, he is not fighting to win the NASCAR Cup Series championship but for individual wins. However, with some changes that 23XI Racing made, he is not just fighting for individual wins but also for the owner title. How so?
After his teammate, Kurt Busch crashed in qualifying at Pocono Raceway and was sidelined with concussion-like symptoms, Busch had to go out of the playoffs, even though he was in it because he knew he couldn’t return in time. As a result, Team Penske’s Ryan Blaney got a spot in Busch’s place.
Qualifying orders for this weekend. All series are two rounds with top-10 to final round. Weather looks promising but if qualifying rained out, starting order by metric (playoff drivers don’t automatically get front spots, they’d start where metric puts them amid everyone) pic.twitter.com/kr4gonDvKR
— Bob Pockrass (@bobpockrass) September 28, 2022
While Blaney can now compete for the championship, he cannot do so for the owner title because that spot is still reserved for the 23XI Racing’s No. 45 team. So, 23XI Racing decided to move Wallace to No. 45 from his usual No. 23 so as to have a better chance to compete for the owner title.
And they gave Wallace’s No. 23 car to Ty Gibbs, Busch’s replacement for the time being.
As of now, the #45 team is 10 points below the cut line in 10th place.