The new NASCAR Cup Series team owned by Michael Jordan and Denny Hamlin, 23XI Racing, has hired Mike Wheeler to be crew chief for driver Darrell “Bubba” Wallace Jr. in 2021, Hamlin confirmed, according to a report from NBC Sports.
Hamlin and Wheeler have a history, as Wheeler was Hamlin’s crew chief on the #11 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota team for six races in 2014 and from 2016 through the 2018 season. The 23XI team also recently announced it would field a #23 Toyota next season with a technical alliance with Joe Gibbs Racing.
With Wheeler as his crew chief at JGR, Hamlin won five races.
Wheeler moved from JGR to Leavine Family Racing to be crew chief for Matt DiBenedetto on the #95 Toyota team in 2019. Since then, he has become Competition Director at LFR, but the Leavine organization will shut down at the end of the 2020 season that will end Nov. 8.
In 148 races as a Cup Series crew chief, Wheeler has five wins, 39 top-fives and 69 top-10 finishes.