Tyler Reddick, Bubba Wallace reaping the benefits of 23XI Racing’s new shop

Their pit crews are now practicing at Air Speed and improving immediately

NASCAR: Cup Qualifying
Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

While NASCAR Cup Series teams always want more speed and performance out of their cars, 23XI Racing has been left wanting more from pit road than their Toyota Camry XSEs over the first third of the season.

But that narrative is starting to flip and there has been more to it than what meets the eye.

Tyler Reddick’s No. 45 spent the third least amount of time on pit road last weekend at Darlington and Bubba Wallace’s No. 23 was eighth fastest. And this isn’t a new development either as the 23 team has especially been strong, amongst the top-5 over the past five weeks, and there is a correlation to a recent development.

The 23XI Racing pit crews are now working out of their own facility, Air Speed, in Huntersville, North Carolina as opposed to having to rent time out of Joe Gibbs Racing.

“Last week was the first time that the 45 and 23 teams had the fastest medium time of all the teams combined,” said team owner Denny Hamlin on Saturday at North Wilkesboro. “Absolutely we see the value but know that we’re still working out of our dumpster area.

“That’s a fact. Right now, we pull out our dumpster and we move in pit boxes and that’s where we’re practicing. The full facility won’t be done until the first of October but absolutely, having them at our shop, has value.

“Because when they go to JGR, it worked really well, but we only had a time slot, and we needed to move out and let the next team come in. For us to spend more time is allowing us to build upon some things, work on some new drills, and it’s something we didn’t have before now. It’s all starting to gel.”

Wallace particularly has been bit by pit road mishaps during some of his best runs but didn’t want to pin it all on that.

“Listen, since the beginning of social media, pit road is the easiest thing to blame but I choose to look at myself and things I might have done to put them in a bad spot too and I’ve done my home work to not make some of those mistakes again,” Wallace said. “As of late, just from the 23 team, we have been really good on pit road. We have been super consistent and maintaining.

“If we maintain on pit road, that’s a good day and we’ve done that the past few weeks, and even had races where we’ve gained some. That’s all I can ask for. It’s unrealistic to gain 10 spots when you come down but we’re maintaining every week and that’s a win.”

Reddick says the value of working with their crews at Air Speed comes down to repetition.

“It’s definitely helping, having them get used more to my tendencies and patterns coming in the box, and being on the same page,” Reddick said.  

Again, both the drivers, their crews and Hamlin would always like an uptick in performance from the cars but pit road is the easier way to gain and lose track position.

“The 6 was a little better in traffic than we were, so we are working on that, but we also beat them off pit road since we had the first box, fast crew,” Reddick said. “It was a great weekend for a lot of different reasons for both of our cars.”

Wallace echoed those sentiments.

“We’re always trying to get better,” he said. “Last week at Darlington, the 45 had a milestone day with their fastest stop, super consistent stops. We were the most consistent on pit road and we’re getting our cars where we want them to be too so it’s on me to go get the job done.”

Matt Weaver is a Motorsports Insider for Sportsnaut. Follow him on Twitter.

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