As we speak‘s 23XI Racing preview begins NASCAR.com‘s countdown of crew previews for the 2021 NASCAR Cup Sequence season, beginning with new chartered groups then ranked in reverse order of finest end in final yr‘s proprietor standings.
Engine: Toyota Racing Improvement
Driver-crew chief pairings: Bubba Wallace-Mike Wheeler (No. 23)
What’s new: All of it. This brand-spanking-new crew for the 2021 season is the results of collaboration between NBA legend Michael Jordan and longtime buddy Denny Hamlin, who explores crew possession for the primary time in his lengthy NASCAR profession. Bubba Wallace has been tapped as the motive force of the No. 23 Toyota, with veteran Mike Wheeler — a former crew chief for Hamlin — atop the pit field. Main sponsorships — some from present backers and others from newly cast partnerships — have been bought for all the schedule.
Crew outlook: Ever because the crew’s Cup Sequence plans have been formally introduced Sept. 21, the race has been on to arrange for subsequent month’s debut at Daytona Worldwide Speedway. A point of first-year jitters must be anticipated, however 23XI received’t lack help. The total fleet of sponsorship — for the crew’s on- and off-track impression — is a constructive bellwether, and an alliance with Joe Gibbs Racing ought to assist set up the crew’s footing on the technical facet. Time will inform simply how robust that JGR affiliation might be.
Racing Insights stats break: Bubba Wallace comes off a profession yr after ending 22nd in factors thanks to 5 top-10 finishes (had solely 4 in his profession earlier than) and enters 2021 with a streak of three straight seasons with a top-five end. Wallace has veteran crew chief Mike Wheeler, who has 5 wins, together with a 2016 Daytona 500 victory with Denny Hamlin. Wallace‘s finest Cup end is second within the 2018 Daytona 500.
Bubba Wallace, No. 23 Toyota
Expertise: Fourth full season in NASCAR Cup Sequence
2020 stats: 22nd in closing standings; zero wins, 1 high 5, 5 high 10s.
2020 closing Fantasy Reside rating: 22nd
2021 championship odds: 50-1
Outlook: With out ever turning a lap, 23XI pegged the star-power wattage meter in the meanwhile of inception, with Michael Jordan’s worldwide renown sparking a flurry of headlines and protection. The highlight’s glow could also be even brighter on Wallace this season, on the heels of an eventful 2020 when he grew to become a extra vocal advocate for racial equality. On the monitor, Wallace’s efficiency will probably be predicated on how shortly the new child group can discover its place amongst extra established competitors. He has received a number of occasions over within the Tenting World Truck Sequence ranks however continues to be aiming for the consistency wanted to make that leap within the Cup Sequence.
NASCAR.com 2021 crew previews schedule
Jan. 18: 23XI Racing
Jan. 19: Trackhouse Racing Crew
Jan. 20: Reside Quick Motorsports
Jan. 21: Spire Motorsports
Jan. 22: JTG Daugherty Racing
Jan. 25: Entrance Row Motorsports
Jan. 26: Richard Petty Motorsports
Jan. 27: Roush Fenway Racing
Jan. 28: Wooden Brothers Racing
Jan. 29: Richard Childress Racing
Jan. 30: Non-chartered and groups outdoors the highest 30
Feb. 1: Chip Ganassi Racing
Feb. 2: Stewart-Haas Racing
Feb. 3: Joe Gibbs Racing
Feb. 4: Crew Penske
Feb. 5: Hendrick Motorsports