With the second charter, both 23XI Racing cars are now guaranteed a starting position in every 2022 race
23XI Racing made their NASCAR debut in 2021. The team is owned by Michael Jordan and NASCAR driver Denny Hamlin.
Bubba Wallace served as the lone driver for the operation in the 2021 season. He picked up his first career win at Talladega Superspeedway.
For 2022, the team will expand. Following the sale at Chip Ganassi Racing, Kurt Busch became a free agent. Months ago, he signed with 23XI Racing to drive the No. 45 car.
However, until yesterday, the team hadn’t acquired a charter for the second car. They were previously is discussion with Front Row Motorsports to acquire their second charter but those deals fell through.
Denny Hamlin frustrated after Front Row Motorsports charter acquisition fell through
“I just wish we wouldn’t have gotten so far,” Hamlin told The Athletic. “I mean, we were far. We were tens of thousands — if not hundreds of thousands — in on legal fees. Like, just done. Certainly, I had people who warned me, like, ‘Are you sure (the deal is happening)?’ I’m like, ‘Yeah. I’m sure.’ And whatever (happened) was just minds changing.”
Charters are essentially NASCAR’s version of franchises. 36 charters were issued by NASCAR several years ago.
Charter cars are guaranteed starting positions in every race. In recent times, NASCAR has run most of their races without qualifying. That heightens importance of owning charters.
Several years ago, charters were easy to grab. However, with the addition of Trackhouse Racing, 23XI Racing, GMS Racing and two full-time efforts from Kaulig Racing the charters are now in high demend.
Recently estimates place a single charter in a value around $10 million.
“It certainly is not going to be financially good for us, but this whole fucking sport is financially not good for us,” Hamlin said a few months ago of the rise in charter costs. “What’s the difference?”
Related: Kurt Busch to 23XI Racing for 2022
23XI Racing: Second charter now acquired for 2022
“We have [secured a charter],” 23XI Racing president Steve Lauletta confirmed via SIRIUS XM NASCAR Radio on Tuesday.
“All of that actually closed, today. We have the charter we needed and wanted for the No. 45. So, both of our cars will have charters for next season and beyond.
“It’s an interesting process in terms of trying to make sure everything’s aligned, both from our desire to get the right package, in terms of what goes into purchasing a charter. Then, for the seller to get the right package on their end.”
Lauletta is referring to package as what else comes with a charter. In many case, the sale of a charter has also included entire operations such was the case for Trackhouse Racing’s charter acquisition when purchasing Chip Ganassi Racing.
It’s a unique time for such deals. In 2022, the current cars become essentially useless as the Next Gen car will replace all the usable equipment, for all teams.
Lauletta concluded, “We were lucky enough to work with StarCom. They also have some other things going with Spire [Motorsports] in terms of equipment and other pieces. The three of us got together and we now have the charter that we need.”
In mid-September, an employee from StarCom Racing stated via twitter that the team would be closing at the end of the 2021 season.
However, that tweet was quickly deleted. No official announcement followed from the team regarding a possible closing.
Yet, in early November, the team finally clarified their situation. They posted a note to twitter, announcing the closing of the operation.
“It is with a heavy heart that we say goodbye to our StarCom Racing fans. After the championship this weekend, our #00 charter will take new ownership. Thank you so much to all our fans for the fun memories and loyal support over the years!”