Team repositions to make a run at NASCAR owner’s championship
Since the inception of 23XI Racing, Bubba Wallace has been the pilot of the No. 23 car. The team is co-owned by Michael Jordan and Denny Hamlin. They’re now in their second season of full-time competition.
Kurt Busch joined the team at the start of the 2022 season as the team fielded a second full-time car. Busch drove to victory lane earlier this year in the No. 45.
However, several weeks ago, Busch was injured in a crash at Pocono Raceway. He’s been sidelined with concussion symptoms ever since with no timetable to return.
Ty Gibbs has been fielding the No. 45 while Kurt Busch goes through treatment. Now, as the playoffs are set to begin, Bubba Wallace will jump from the No. 23 to the No. 45 as the team makes a run at the owner’s championship.
Bootie Barker will remain the crew chief for Wallace. Billy Scott will be the crew chief on the No. 23 as Ty Gibbs jumps in that car.
Last week, Kurt Busch revoked his waiver request for the Playoffs. He’s now ineligible to compete for a driver’s championship. However, the team remains in the battle for an owner’s championship on the No. 45 car.
Kurt Busch backs out of NASCAR playoffs; Waiver removed
23XI Racing comments
“After consulting with NASCAR, we made this decision in the best interest of the entire organization and for all our employees who helped earn a spot in the playoffs for the Owner’s Championship through their hard work,” said team president Steve Lauletta.
“While Ty has done a great job for us in the No. 45 car, we feel that Bubba’s experience in this car, at the upcoming playoff tracks and his recent momentum will give 23XI the best chance at maximizing our points each weekend.”
He added, “We recognize that this is a unique opportunity in the Cup Series, and we’re grateful to our employees and partners for standing with the team and supporting this decision.”
The Playoffs begin this weekend at Darlington Raceway.
Watch the Kurt Busch crash video
Kurt Busch | Bubba Wallace | Ty Gibbs | 23XI Racing | Joe Gibbs Racing | NASCAR