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NASCAR Cup: 23XI expands with addition of Kurt Busch

LONG POND, PENNSYLVANIA – JUNE 27: Kurt Busch, driver of the #1 Monster Energy Chevrolet, waits on the grid prior to the NASCAR Cup Series Explore the Pocono Mountains 350 at Pocono Raceway on June 27, 2021 in Long Pond, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)


Darrell “Bubba” Wallace Jr. will have a teammate at 23XI Racing next season in Kurt Busch. The team in its first season of NASCAR Cup Series competition in 2021, has announced an expansion from one to two full-time entries in 2022.

The race team, co-owned by NBA legend Michael Jordan and Cup Series driver Denny Hamlin and with a technical alliance with Joe Gibbs Racing, will field a No. 45 Toyota for Busch, the number reflective of Jordan’s return to the Chicago Bulls after a brief retirement from NBA play. Wallace, meanwhile, will continue to drive the No. 23, the number on Jordan’s jersey for most of his NBA playing career.

“I cannot begin to express my gratitude for this opportunity,” Busch said. “Racing to win is what I live for. Helping to continue developing a new team, alongside Michael Jordan, Denny Hamlin, and Toyota is exactly what I want to be part of. Winning is important to 23XI, it’s important to Monster Energy, and it’s important to me. That is our goal.”

Busch will finish the 2021 season as driver of the No. 1 Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet. He’ll lose that seat at the end of the season through a sale of Chip Ganassi Racing’s NASCAR assets to Trackhouse Racing.

Busch won the 2004 Cup Series championship with Roush Fenway Racing. He also drove for teams including Team Penske, Phoenix Racing, Furniture Row Racing and Stewart-Haas Racing before arriving at CGR ahead of the 2019 season. He is a 33-time winner in 747-career starts, dating back to a partial 2000 season and his first full-time Cup Series season in 2001.

“When we started this team, our vision was to grow to a multi-car organization. To be able to expand in just our second year is a huge step for us,” Hamlin said. “Kurt brings a wealth of knowledge and a championship mindset to our team and will be able to help us grow stronger and more competitive each and every week.”

Busch is a playoff driver this season. He has a win, four top-fives and 10 top-10s through the first 27 races of the 36-race season.

The 23XI Racing team has not announced whether or not it had obtained of will obtain a charter for the No. 45 team. The team does have a charter for Wallace’s No. 23 team.

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Posted by on September 8, 2021. Filed under Breaking News,Cup Series,Featured,NASCAR. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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