Sunday, February 5, 2023

Bubba Wallace Holds Off Denny Hamlin for Kansas Victory, 23XI No. 45 Advances to Next Round of Owner’s Playoffs

Bubba Wallace wins Kansas Speedway 23XI Racing 2022
Bubba Wallace wins for the second time in his NASCAR Cup Series career, after he held off a hard-charging Denny Hamlin in the Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway. This win moves 23XI Racing’s No. 45 entry to the next round of the NASCAR Cup Series Owner’s Playoffs. PC: Nigel Kinrade | LAT Images | Courtesy of Toyota Racing

After coming painstakingly close on multiple occasions this season, Bubba Wallace has returned to NASCAR Cup Series victory lane, taking his second career victory in Sunday’s Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway.

With this victory, the No. 45 – originally scheduled to be driven by Kurt Busch – secures a spot in the next round of the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series Owner’s Playoffs, joining 11 other drivers, which will be determined next week at Bristol.

In order to make it happen, Wallace had to defend against a pair of hungry Toyotas behind him, as both Christopher Bell and Denny Hamlin, the owner of Wallace’s No. 45 Toyota Camry, made hard charges over the closing run of the race.

Following the race, Wallace put his finger to his lips and shushed his detractors during his victory celebration.

Hamlin, who entered the event looking for a berth into the next round of the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs, finished one second behind Wallace when the 267-lap contest was complete, his second straight runner-up result.

Christopher Bell, Hamlin’s teammate at Joe Gibbs Racing, finished in third place, after fading heavily in the closing stages of the race’s final stint. Despite not claiming the victory, Bell leaves Kansas as the points leader, 56 points above the cutline.

Alex Bowman, who led a race-high 107 laps, and Martin Truex Jr. completed the race’s top-five finishers, while William Byron, Ross Chastain, Kyle Larson, Ryan Blaney, and Daniel Suarez all helped their hopes of advancing with top-10 results.

Chase Elliott (11th), Austin Cindric (12th), Chase Briscoe (13th), Austin Dillon (14th), Joey Logano (17th), Kyle Busch (26th), Tyler Reddick (35th), and Kevin Harvick (36th), were the eight championship-eligible drivers to finish outside the top-10.

Here are the complete race results from Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway:

Race Results: 2022 NASCAR Cup Series Hollywood Casino 400

Joseph Srigley
Joseph Srigley
University of Windsor | Business Administration - Supply Chain & Data Analytics Editor at

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