Sunday afternoon, the NASCAR Cup Series season will continue with a trip to Kansas Speedway. 23XI Racing and driver Bubba Wallace will be on the hunt for the team’s first win this season but will first take time to surprise two lucky fans. Wallace will personally deliver lunch to two local Kansas City fans in a recreation of the 23XI Racing Dr. Pepper Zero Sugar Toyota Camry.
Prior to the fan engagement, Wallace sat down with Heavy to discuss working with Dr. Pepper, his first season with 23XI Racing, delivering food to his fans, and the fresh paint schemes that cover the Toyota Camry each week. He revealed during this discussion that he gets to have some input into each design, but he also gets to experience the full reveal like everyone else.
“I embrace it like everyone else. That’s more for the front office,” Wallace told Heavy. “Sometimes, I will see it come through and will be like, ‘ok, that looks good.’ I approved this scheme that came out. I was a fan. I didn’t know what to expect.” Though Wallace noted that he had a sneak peak of the car as it sat on the shop floor before the big reveal.
The 23XI Racing team continues to mix up the paint schemes
Wallace and the 23XI Racing team have big-name sponsors in DoorDash, McDonald’s, Columbia Sportswear, and Dr. Pepper, leading to a wide variety of schemes. The team has continued to mix up the designs each week while entertaining racing fans. The latest, created in partnership with Dr. Pepper Zero Sugar, is no exception.
The wait is finally over. We told you it’d be worth the wait 😎
— 23XI Racing (@23XIRacing) April 28, 2021
“That’s the creative minds we have,” Wallace said as explanation. “They’re not messing around over here at 23XI. We have the right people in the right place to make people happy and get them some fire schemes.”
Wallace will put this new Dr. Pepper scheme on full display when he drives around the Kansas City area in order to surprise fans. He will show up at their houses in the custom car and enjoy a socially-distanced lunch. This brand activation will only be the first of many for 23XI Racing and Wallace, and the 27-year-old is ready to use it to spend time with fans once again.
“I’m excited to, one, just have fan interaction again. You’re getting somewhat back to normal,” Wallace explained. “Promoting Dr. Pepper Zero Sugar is huge, giving out local bites around the Kansas City area is big. It’s just making them feel good, having that one-on-one authentic conversation. Getting back to normal pre-COVID stuff when we thought everything was good.”
Wallace will visit with fans and then start Sunday’s race near the front
Following a stage win in the Geico 500 and 16 laps at the front of the pack, Wallace will start Sunday’s race near the front of the pack. He will line up in the 13th position, next to Ryan Newman on the seventh row. Wallace has yet to win a race in his Cup Series career, but he will aim to build off of his recent strong performances on Sunday.
“My confidence has been higher and higher every time that we finish a speedway race,” Wallace told Heavy. “We’ve always had speed — look at the Daytona 500 this year. That was big. But to get our first stage win, lock ourselves into the [Busch] Clash, we’re checking off the little things on the checklist.
“It’s the small victories that we look for right now being a small team. Things that we can progress on and grow with to move forward and to grow our team to get better and stronger for the next speedway race, which will be Daytona coming up later this year. A ton of confidence all around. That’s what you need.”
Prior to climbing into the 23XI Racing Toyota Camry for the Buschy McBusch Race 400 on Sunday, Wallace will prepare himself for the grueling race as he usually does — listening to music. He has put his love of music on full display throughout his career while talking about its role in his life. Wallace has also provided glimpses into his pre-race music collection which features some of the biggest names from metal, hip hop, and other genres.
“[August Burns Red] are awesome just to be around. They treat you like family, so it makes you appreciate their work even more,” Wallace said. “What I’m listening to [pre-race] is kind of what’s on the radar really. I’ve kind of swung back to the rap game the last couple days. Last week, I listened to Lil Baby and DaBaby, but I did listen to August Burns Red’s new song while I was out on the grid. It’s just whatever is going through my mind that day.”
Wallace will listen to something that pumps him up when he heads out to the starting grid for Sunday’s race. The Buschy McBusch Race 400 will take place at 3 p.m. ET. FS1 will provide coverage with Jeff Gordon, Mike Joy, and Clint Bowyer calling the action as Wallace shows off the new Dr. Pepper Zero Sugar Toyota Camry.
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