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Denny Hamlin says Bubba Wallace had 'solid' playoff performance

Nick Profile Picby:Nick Geddes11/07/23

NickGeddesNews

Bubba Wallace
Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

The 2023 NASCAR Cup Series season was another step forward for Bubba Wallace, who made the playoffs for the first time in his career.

Wallace advanced to the Round of 12 and was consistent during the final 10 races of the season, picking up four top 10s and a third place finish at Texas Motor Speedway. Wallace finished a career-high 10th in the points standings. Denny Hamlin, co-owner of 23XI Racing, came away impressed with Wallace’s playoff run.

“Bubba for the second season in a row drove a car to the top-10 in the playoff system,” Hamlin said on his “Actions Detrimental” podcast Tuesday. “Great job, they [Wallace and Tyler Reddick] continue to get better… I think that he had a solid 10 weeks. I think he ran about like he did during the regular season where he had some top 5s, some top 10s and that’s kind of what they were for the most part of the whole year and he just continued that through the playoffs. So, it’s really a good thing how they performed. They were very consistent. That team got better on pit road this year. Still got some improvement to make.”

Wallace, 30, capped off his third season behind the wheel of the No. 23 Toyota for 23XI Racing with a 10th place finish in the NASCAR Cup Series Championship Race at Phoenix Raceway this past Sunday. In total, Wallace finished the 2023 campaign with 10 top 10s and five top 5s.

Bubba Wallace reflects on 2023 NASCAR Cup Series season

Wallace reflected on his best season to date in an Instagram story Monday.

“Currently 3:42am.. [sic] sitting here on the couch questioning everything and I have no idea why. Climbed from the car today with little to no emotion,” Wallace wrote. “Frustrated with how our race ended and ending the #6 team’s top10 run. You would think your bud winning the championship would bring that joy and excitement back. Sadly it did not. You would think having a career year and capping it off with P10 in points would bring the happiness back. Sadly it did not.

“I’ve always said music is my go to for the dark moments.. 5 hour plane ride back and I rode in complete silence for 2.5 of those. It’s the helpless feeling that really kicks ya..my wife can see that I’m off but I don’t have the what or the why that I’m feeling this way to allow her to help me…

“To my peeps out there starting at a blank wall, I’m with you. Tomorrow is another day. Another opportunity. Keep after it. ‘We gon be alright.’”