23XI Racing announced today that Bubba Wallace, driver of the No. 23 Toyota Camry TRD, will switch car numbers for the final 10 races of the season and run the No. 45 as the organization pursues the Owner’s Championship. Wallace will remain paired with his crew chief, Bootie Barker. The move will best position 23XI Racing and the No. 45 car for the strongest run in the playoffs for the Owner’s Championship.
Ty Gibbs will continue to serve as 23XI’s substitute driver and will now drive the No. 23 Toyota Camry TRD with Billy Scott remaining as the crew chief. Aside from the number being different, there will be no changes to the primary partners on either car.
With the No. 45 team in the Owner’s Championship but not the Driver’s Championship, the opportunity arose to look at different options to give the organization the best chance for the highest possible finish at the end of the season. This situation marks the first time in the Modern Era of the Cup Series that a team has been in one championship but not the other.
“After consulting with NASCAR, we made this decision in the best interest of the entire organization and for all our employees who helped earn a spot in the playoffs for the Owner’s Championship through their hard work,” said team president Steve Lauletta. “While Ty has done a great job for us in the No. 45 car, we feel that Bubba’s experience in this car, at the upcoming playoff tracks and his recent momentum will give 23XI the best chance at maximizing our points each weekend. We recognize that this is a unique opportunity in the Cup Series, and we’re grateful to our employees and partners for standing with the team and supporting this decision.”