Editor’s Note: Today’s 23XI Racing preview continues NASCAR.com’s countdown of team previews for the 2024 Cup Series season.
Engine: Toyota Racing Development
Driver-crew chief pairings: Bubba Wallace-Bootie Barker (No. 23), Tyler Reddick-Billy Scott (No. 45)
Team outlook: In only its third year of existence and second year as a two-car organization, 23XI Racing reached the Cup Series Playoffs last season, with both Wallace and Reddick getting past the opening round of the 10-race fight for the championship. Heading into 2024, the expectation level should be higher as Wallace went winless in 2023 despite reaching the Round of 12.
While there’s little known about how the new Toyota body will perform this season, co-owners Denny Hamlin and Michael Jordan will want to see both of their cars in Victory Lane this season before the playoffs and for Reddick and Wallace to return to the Round of 12, putting themselves in position to make a run at the Round of 8. And while the two teams will keep their driver-crew chief pairings intact, there’s still a significant change for the organization with a modern, new race shop called “Airspeed” that 23XI will now call home.
BUBBA WALLACE, NO. 23 TOYOTA
Experience: Six full-time seasons in the NASCAR Cup Series
2023 stats: 10th in final standings; 0 wins, 5 top fives, 10 top 10s
2024 championship odds (DraftKings): 30-1
Outlook: Wallace matched his top-five and top-10 totals from 2022 but couldn’t find Victory Lane in the series for the first time since 2020. With his continued progress on intermediate ovals, Wallace should be a race-winning contender for most of them. Texas Motor Speedway could be a breakthrough in April for the driver of the No. 23 Toyota as he seeks redemption after coming up short to William Byron last fall despite winning the pole and leading a race-high 111 laps. With two superspeedways on the playoff schedule, Wallace will also need to return to form on that track type after failing to collect a single top 10 at Daytona International Speedway, Talladega Superspeedway and Atlanta Motor Speedway in 2023.
TYLER REDDICK, NO. 45 TOYOTA
Experience: Four full-time seasons in the NASCAR Cup Series
2023 stats: Sixth in final standings; 2 wins, 10 top fives, 16 top 10s
2024 championship odds (DraftKings): 14-1
Outlook: Most metrics pointed to Reddick having an outstanding maiden campaign with 23XI. He made the Round of 8 for the first time in the Cup Series, and he collected two wins, including a thrilling overtime victory in the playoffs at Kansas Speedway. However, it still feels like something is missing in both 23XI camps. Reddick and Wallace were just mid-pack in terms of average finish among full-time drivers last season as Reddick ranked 14th with an average finish of 15.7, while Wallace was right behind him in 15th at a 15.9 clip. After starting the postseason with back-to-back top-two finishes, Reddick proceeded to score results of 15th or worse at Bristol Motor Speedway, Texas and Talladega. Then, three finishes of eighth or better at the Charlotte Motor Speedway road course, Las Vegas Motor Speedway and Homestead-Miami Speedway. He was eliminated at Martinsville Speedway after a 26th-place outing and closed the season at Phoenix Raceway in 22nd.
23XI has work to do in terms of consistent results, but if Reddick finds himself on a hot streak and can find himself hitting the 20-plus top-10s mark, he’s got a legitimate shot of making his first Championship 4 in 2024.
BOLD PREDICTION: With a handful of missed opportunities last year, it’s hard to imagine Wallace and Reddick not capitalizing on them this year. With TRD president David Wilson’s positive outlook on the new Toyota body, the pair will win multiple races in 2024 before the start of the postseason in what will be a dominant year for the manufacturer. Similar to last year, only one driver from 23XI will advance their way to the Round of 8.
NASCAR.com 2024 team previews schedule
Jan. 15: Legacy Motor Club
Jan. 16: Spire Motorsports
Jan. 17: Kaulig Racing
Jan. 18: Wood Brothers Racing
Jan. 22: Rick Ware Racing
Jan. 23: Richard Childress Racing
Jan. 24: Stewart-Haas Racing
Jan. 25: Front Row Motorsports
Jan. 26: JTG Daugherty Racing
Jan. 29: Trackhouse Racing
Jan. 30: RFK Racing
Feb. 6: 23XI Racing
Feb. 7: Joe Gibbs Racing
Feb. 8: Hendrick Motorsports
Feb. 9: Team Penske