Bubba Wallace’s team, 23XI Racing, has announced several personnel changes, including a new crew chief.
Mike Wheeler, the veteran crew chief, will leave the pit box to become the full-time Director of Competition for the soon-to-be two-car operation.
“Mike Wheeler has been a huge part of helping build 23XI Racing,” said 23XI President Steve Lauletta “From day one, Wheels has helped put this team together, with a focus on the competition side. As we move towards 2022, it’s important for us to put the right people in place that help continue the growth of 23XI to the next level. As we finish out the 2021 season, this move allows Wheels to focus on our overall vision for 23XI and allow Bootie (Barker) to help Bubba and the No. 23 team finish strong over the final eight races.”
Wallace’s crew chief will be Bootie Barker, who has previously worked with the group. Barker is a familiar face in the garage, having sat atop the pit box for roughly 500 Cup races. His most recent race as a CC occurred in 2017.
“Being a part of 23XI Racing from when it was just an idea, to seeing the plans come to life, securing our temporary shop and working to build this team has been an amazing opportunity and one I’m excited to continue as the team grows and expands,” said Wheeler. “I’ve enjoyed the opportunity to be back on the box this season with the No. 23 team and Bubba, but to be able to solely focus on the next steps it takes to expand to a multi-car team, build a new shop and get this team to where it’s in contention to win each and every week is exciting for me and I’m ready to give it my full attention as we finish this season and move in to 2022. Bootie (Barker) has been a great asset to 23XI Racing all season and with his experience, he was the right choice to step in and finish the 2021 season with Bubba and the No. 23 Toyota Camry team.”
Wallace is 22nd in the championship standings with two top-five finishes this season, including a second place finish at Daytona.
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