Bubba Wallace – driver of the No. 23 Toyota Camry for 23XI Racing in the NASCAR Cup Series — will join Hattori Racing Enterprises for a one-off in the NASCAR Xfinity Series at Michigan, the team announced Monday Afternoon.
Wallace hasn’t competed in the NASCAR Xfinity series since 2017, when he ran a 13-race schedule with Roush Fenway Racing, before a lack of funding forced the team to suspend the car’s operations.
“I’m excited to race again in the Xfinity Series,” said Wallace. “Michigan is a track where I’ve run well in the past and even won in the Truck Series. Anytime we can get extra track time, it helps. Just to get extra laps before the Cup race on Sunday will be good with no practice or qualifying. Thanks to everyone at HRE and Toyota for the opportunity to run the AISIN Supra this weekend. Hopefully we can go out and have a strong race and put ourselves in contention at the end of the day.”
Austin Hill – the driver originally scheduled to run the No. 61 — will instead shift focus to the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, where him and HRE are looking to secure the series championship, coming off back-to-back wins.
“We really enjoy running the Xfinity Series but having someone like Bubba step in to help this weekend will let us focus 100% on our AISIN Toyota Tundra at Gateway,” Hill said. “The first race in the playoffs is always important and our team has a great chance to win everywhere we go with our AISIN Toyota Tundra. Being able to focus solely on Gateway Friday night will be helpful for us to get our championship run started on the right foot.”
Since rejoining the series in 2019, Hill and HRE have scored one top-five and four top-10 finishes, including a ninth-place result at Nashville Superspeedway earlier this season.
“We appreciate Bubba and are excited to have him drive our AISIN Toyota Supra,” Hattori said. “It’s great to have him and his Cup Series experience part of our Xfinity program. We want to have a strong start to the Camping World Trucks playoffs at Gateway with Austin and have another great chance to compete for a championship. This allows both of our teams to be prepared and run well for AISIN, Toyota, TRD, and all of our partners.”