This is the Statt Mann Baby. Time to Scatt a little bit.

It was good to see NASCAR Cup driver Darrell Wallace get his contract extension with 23XI Racing late this week. The deal keeps Wallace on the team beyond next season which would have been the end of his initial contract.

The team is co-owned by Michael Jordan and Denny Hamlin.

This run of excellent finishes by Wallace started right after it was announced that Tyler Reddick would be going to 23XI in 2024. It was also about the time teammate Kurt Busch was sidelined by concussion symptoms leaving his car seat open to Ty Gibbs.

There are many old school NASCAR people who stick by their belief that Wallace’s crew chief Bootie Barker was the reason for the turnaround. This week, though, I looked at Barker’s record and his only win was with Wallace last year.

That’s after 17 years and more than 500 races. His average finish as a crew chief was in the mid-20s.

Barker was better than his predecessor. But I believe Wallace felt some heat running as far back as he was. You tell a competitive athlete to do better or go home, he or she will do better. A job and paycheck are better than sitting at home on the couch wishing.

It’s up to Wallace now to get to the top step on the podium and cross over to the playoffs. Even if he has to take Barker with him.