It’s official, folks — Bubba Wallace has officially won his first-ever NASCAR Cup Series race. He crossed victory lane on Monday at the YellaWood 500 at the Talladega Superspeedway.
The win also marks the first-ever for Bubba Wallace’s team, 23XI Racing. The team is co-owned by former NBA legend Michael Jordan and fellow NASCAR star Denny Hamlin. Speaking of Hamlin, he knows all about winning races. As a matter of fact, he just won last week’s Cup Series playoff race in Las Vegas. But he says that as an owner the win is even more meaningful.
“It’s way more emotional because I know how difficult it is and these guys have worked so hard over the last ten months to put this team together,” Hamlin said. “It’s been a lot of hours putting this all together and it’s great to see the results from all the hard work from these team guys.”
For Bubba Wallace personally, this race no doubt means a lot to him personally. But it’s also special for Hamlin to see Wallace in victory lane. After all, it wasn’t all that long ago that Hamlin helped select him as the driver for 23XI Racing.
“It means so much. You know, it’s a learning process,” he said. “We knew it was going to be a learning process but I’m so happy for the team. I’m so happy for the sponsor, McDonald’s. It’s been decades since they’ve been in victory lane. So it’s a great way to show off our partners for 23XI.”
Hamlin knows that this is just the start for Bubba Wallace and 23XI Racing. And he knows that the future is bright.
“This is just a building step. We’re still in the beginning stages of our team. We’re still growing. We’ve got some great things on the horizon but this is just a great morale booster for everyone.”
NASCAR Fans Sound Off After Bubba Wallace Wins at Talladega
Love or hate Bubba Wallace, it was pretty cool to see him get his first win in the NASCAR Cup Series. It will surely be a moment that he will never forget. Check out our tweet from earlier showing Bubba Wallace and his team celebrating in the stormy weather.
That said, NASCAR fans online were split right down the middle on whether or not his win on Monday was all that impressive.
“I’m sorry but I’m gonna have to see more out of the team to agree with ‘hard work.’ It’s Talladega and a rain-shortened win.”
Meanwhile, fellow NASCAR driver Tommy Joe Martins quickly shut down that sentiment. He says that Wallace “100% earned it.”
“Any comments about it being rigged are ignorant. The whole field was racing like crazy for the lead. Everyone knew rain was minutes away. @BubbaWallace used the 3rd line to get up front, maneuvered, took the lead, held the lead & they wrecked behind him. 100% EARNED IT.”
“Can’t wait to see what this team can do in 2022,” another fan wrote.