Learning process continues for Bubba Wallace, 23XI Racing


Going NASCAR Cup Series racing is never easy. Even with Toyota, Joe Gibbs Racing and Michael Jordan on your side.

New organization 23XI Racing and driver Bubba Wallace began their partnership with much fanfare, but are still seeking their first top-10 finish after eight races this season.

However, there have been signs of progress over the opening stretch. Wallace and his No. 23 Toyota have shown top-10 speed in several races, including last week at Martinsville, where he led a career-high 23 laps before finishing 16th.

Wallace agrees that the results could be a little better. But in his mind, those will come as both he and 23XI master the little things necessary to one day run with the Cup elites.

“We’re figuring out what we need to secure those spots earlier in the race and go fight for something much greater than we have been,” Wallace said Friday during a media teleconference.

To that end, maximizing his car’s potential is on Wallace’s mind as he heads to Richmond Raceway Sunday (3 p.m. ET, FOX).

If given a 15th-place car, how can he bring it to, say, a 12th-place finish instead of, as he put it, “salvaging, rooting and gouging” for 15th?

Regular season points leader Denny Hamlin – his other boss alongside Jordan at 23XI – knows a thing or two about that. The same goes for former Cup champion Kevin Harvick.

Wallace cited them both Friday as drivers who can squeeze solid finishes out of cars that aren’t the best on any given day. That’s a skill he wants to earn before long.

“I feel like we are, maybe, three or four spots better every race that we have finished and it’s like, ‘Why are we not getting that?,'” he said.

“I look back on what I’m doing – putting ourselves in a predicament where it’s like, ‘Ahh, that was a little sketchy’ or getting damage to the car late and you have no chance.

“That is all coming and (I’m) getting a better understanding of that, for sure.”

Once that does come, it’ll be easier for Wallace to embed himself into the top 15 more often and go from there.

Considering that he spent the previous three years racing deeper in the pack with Richard Petty Motorsports, he’s fine with being in that range – for now.

At this point, it’s about gaining experience, from working with his new crew to determining what he needs to excel in better equipment.

“It’s still, ‘I don’t like this, I like that inside my race car,’ and it’s like, ‘OK,'” Wallace said. “We’re starting to build that list, each and every track. As different as tracks are, you can still use it as a common ground database to make sure we have the right needs that I want inside the car, and for the feel, and just for the utmost competition standpoint: ‘This is what I need to go faster.’

“It’s just building all of that right now. Having the key people in place to, one, understand that and, two, implement that in our race cars, is good.”

Portland Xfinity race results, driver points

Portland Xfinity results
Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images

Cole Custer went from fourth to first on the overtime restart when the top three cars made contact and went on to win Saturday’s Xfinity Series race at Portland International Raceway. Custer is the 10th different winner in 13 races this season.

MORE: Portland Xfinity race results

MORE: Driver points after Portland Xfinity race

JR Motorsports took the next three spots: Justin Allgaier placed second, Sam Mayer was third and Josh Berry was fourth. Austin Hill completed the top five.

John Hunter Nemechek remains the points leader after 13 races. He has a 14-point lead on Hill. Nemechek leads Allgaier by 44 points.

Cole Custer wins Xfinity race at Portland in overtime


Cole Custer held off Justin Allgaier at the finish to win Saturday’s Xfinity Series race in overtime at Portland International Raceway. It is Custer’s first victory of the season.

JR Motorsports placed second, third and fourth with Allgaier, Sam Mayer and Josh Berry. Austin Hill finished fifth.

MORE: Race results, driver points

Custer went from fourth to first on the overtime restart when Parker Kligerman, who restarted third, attempted to pass Allgaier, who was leading. Sheldon Creed was on the outside of Allgaier. All three cars made contact entering Turn 1, allowing Custer to slip by. Creed finished seventh. Kligerman placed 14th.

Custer won the second stage when John Hunter Nemechek made contact with Creed’s car while racing for the lead on the final lap of the stage. The contact spun Creed and Custer inched by Nemechek at the line.

Early in the final stage, Creed gained revenge with contact that spun Nemechek, who went on to finish 10th. A few laps later, Nemechek and Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Sammy Smith had issues. Smith spun Nemechek. After getting back around, Nemechek quickly caught Smith and turned into Smith’s car, damaging it.

STAGE 1 WINNER: Sheldon Creed

STAGE 2 WINNER: Cole Custer

WHO HAD A GOOD RACE: Despite the contact on the overtime restart, runner-up Justin Allgaier managed to score his fourth consecutive top-three finish. … Sam Mayer’s third-place finish is his best on a road course. … Austin Hill’s fifth-place finish gives him four consecutive top-five results.

WHO HAD A BAD RACE: Daniel Hemric finished 33rd after a fire in his car. … Riley Herbst placed 32nd after an engine issue. After opening the season with six top 10s in a row, Herbst has gone seven races in a row without a top 10.

NEXT: The series competes June 10 at Sonoma Raceway (8 p.m. ET on FS1).

Truck race results at WWT Raceway: Grant Enfinger wins


Grant Enfinger took the lead when the leaders wrecked in the final laps and held off the field in overtime to win Saturday’s Craftsman Truck Series race at World Wide Technology Raceway.

It is Enfinger’s second win in the last five races. He also collected a $50,000 bonus for winning the Triple Truck Challenge.

MORE: Truck race results

MORE: Driver points after WWT Raceway

Christian Eckes finished second and was followed by Stewart Friesen, Carson Hocevar and Chase Purdy.

Ty Majeski and Zane Smith wrecked while racing for the lead with six laps to go. Majeski, running on the inside of Smith, slid up the track and clipped Smith’s truck. Both hit the wall. That put Enfinger in the lead.

Smith finished 20th. Majeski placed 30th.

STAGE 1 WINNER: Grant Enfinger

STAGE 2 WINNER: Stewart Friesen

WHO HAD A GOOD RACE: Grant Enfinger’s victory is his fourth top 10 in the last five races. … Carson Hocevar’s fourth-place finish is his fourth consecutive top-five result. … Stewart Friesen’s third-place finish moved him into a playoff spot with four races left in the regular season. … Matt DiBenedetto‘s sixth-place finish is his third consecutive top 10. … Jesse Love finished ninth in his series debut.

WHO HAD A BAD RACE: Ty Majeski had a chance to take the points lead with series leader Corey Heim out because of illness, but Majeski’s 30th-place finish after running at the front most of the day, leaves him behind Heim. … Hailie Deegan finished 32nd after contact sent her truck into the wall hard. … After finishing a career-high third last week at Charlotte, Dean Thompson placed 34th Saturday due to an engine issue.

NEXT: The series races June 23 at Nashville Superspeedway (8 p.m. ET on FS1)

Xfinity starting lineup at Portland: Sheldon Creed wins pole


Sheldon Creed scored his first career Xfinity Series pole by taking the top spot for Saturday’s race at Portland International Raceway.

Creed, making his 50th career series start, earned the pole with a lap of 95.694 mph on the 1.97-mile road course.

MORE: Portland Xfinity starting lineup

Cole Custer will start second with a lap of 95.398 mph. He is followed by Josh Berry (94.242 mph), John Hunter Nemechek (95.127) and Charlotte winner Justin Allgaier (94.897). Road racing specialist Jordan Taylor, driving for Kaulig Racing, qualified sixth at 94.772 mph.

The green flag is scheduled to wave 4:46 p.m. ET Saturday on FS1.