NASCAR: 5 more drivers who could get their first win in 2021

Michael McDowell, Front Row Motorsports, NASCAR (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Michael McDowell, Front Row Motorsports, NASCAR (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images) /
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Bubba Wallace, NASCAR
Bubba Wallace, 23XI Racing, NASCAR (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images) /

Possible first-time NASCAR Cup Series winners: #2 – Bubba Wallace

Bubba Wallace started his NASCAR Cup Series career with three top five finishes, nine top 10 finishes and an average finish of 23.0 in 112 starts for Richard Petty Motorsports. He recorded career-bests in top 10 finishes and championship standings finish last year before joining the new 23XI Racing team for the 2021 season, which is co-owned by Michael Jordan and Denny Hamlin.

While a new team will surely run into challenges along the way, their veteran crew chief, Michael Wheeler, and alliance with Joe Gibbs Racing will certainly help. Wallace himself has a goal of winning two races this year in the #23 Toyota, which is quite possible given the team’s resources and his own improvement.

If he gets his first career win this year, it could happen on a short track or a superspeedway. Wallace has two top five finishes and an average finish of 15.1 in eight starts at Daytona International Speedway, including a runner-up finish in the 2018 Daytona 500. His Talladega Superspeedway average finish is only 22.7 in six starts, but the keys to success at both tracks are similar.

Meanwhile, Wallace has one top 10 finish and an average finish of 21.6 in 17 short track starts. That one top 10 finish came last year at Bristol Motor Speedway, where the Cup Series will race on dirt for the first time this season.

With better equipment at 23XI Racing and the tendency of short tracks to serve as equalizers, there’s reason to believe that he can win at least one of those events. Wallace also has short track success from his time in the Truck Series, with a win on the dirt track of Eldora Speedway and two wins at Martinsville Speedway.