23XI Racing

NASCAR team

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23XI Racing
Owner(s) Michael Jordan
Denny Hamlin
Principal(s) Steve Lauletta (President)[1]
Base Mooresville, North Carolina[2]
Series NASCAR Cup Series
Race drivers 23. Bubba Wallace
45. Tyler Reddick
50. Kamui Kobayashi, TBA, TBA (part-time)
Sponsors 23. McDonald’s, MoneyLion, Columbia Sportswear, U.S. Air Force, Leidos, Mobil 1, Dr Pepper, Draft Kings
45. Monster Energy, Xfinity, Mobil 1, SiriusXM, MoneyLion, McDonald’s, Jordan Brand, Espolón Tequila, Toyota
50. Mobil 1
Manufacturer Toyota
Opened 2020
Career
Debut 2021 Daytona 500 (Daytona)
Latest race 2024 Toyota Owners 400 (Richmond)
Races competed 115
Drivers’ Championships 0
Race victories 5
Pole positions 2

23XI Racing (pronounced twenty-three eleven) is an American professional auto racing organization that competes in the NASCAR Cup Series. It is owned and operated by Hall of Fame basketball player Michael Jordan, along with current Joe Gibbs Racing driver and three-time Daytona 500 winner Denny Hamlin. The team name represents a combination of Michael Jordan’s No. 23 he wore during most of his NBA career and Denny Hamlin’s No. 11 which he has driven his entire career in the Cup series.[3] The organization fields the Nos. 23, 45, and 50 Toyota teams for drivers Bubba Wallace, Tyler Reddick, and three other drivers, including Kamui Kobayashi. They currently have a technical alliance with JGR.[4]

History[edit]

During the summer of 2020, rumors swirled that Michael Jordan intended on purchasing an ownership stake in Richard Petty Motorsports, who fielded the only black driver in the NASCAR Cup Series, Bubba Wallace. Such claims were repeatedly denied by Jordan’s management team.[5][6]

On September 8, 2021, veteran motorsports executive Steve Lauletta was named team president after serving as the interim president since the team’s foundation.[1]

On July 12, 2022, 23XI Racing announced that two-time NASCAR Xfinity Series champion Tyler Reddick signed with the team for the 2024 season.[7] On July 23, 2022, Hamlin announced that starting in 2023, 23XI would have its own pit crews instead of leasing them from Joe Gibbs Racing.[8]

Car No. 23 history[edit]

Bubba Wallace (2021–present)
Wallace’s No. 23 car during the 2021 Toyota/Save Mart 350

On September 21, 2020, Jordan and Denny Hamlin announced the formation of a Cup team to begin competition in 2021 with Jordan as majority owner, Hamlin as minority owner, and Wallace, who eleven days prior had announced his departure from Richard Petty Motorsports, as their first official driver.[9][10] The team bought a guaranteed starting spot in every 2021 race by purchasing a charter from Germain Racing.[11] The team’s name, car number and manufacturer were not revealed at the time of the announcement.[12] Hamlin later said that the two had discussed owning a team but that it never came to fruition.[13] On October 22, the team announced its name, 23XI Racing, and would use the number 23 (Jordan’s number during his basketball career).[14][15] On October 30, the team revealed that they will run Toyotas with a technical alliance with Joe Gibbs Racing (whose No. 11 car is driven by Hamlin) and operate out of a shop owned (and formerly used) by Germain Racing.[4] On December 14, 23XI Racing announced that DoorDash, McDonald’s, Columbia Sportswear, Dr Pepper, and Root, Inc. will be the sponsors of the No. 23 team in 2021. It was also announced that several crew members of the former Germain operation would join the team as a pit crew.[16] On February 3, it was announced that former Germain driver Ty Dillon (who attempted to make the Daytona 500 with fellow Toyota team Gaunt Brothers Racing) would run the car in the 2021 Busch Clash, as Wallace was not eligible to run the clash.[17]

Wallace finished second in his Duel and finished 17th at the 2021 Daytona 500 after being involved in a last-lap crash. At the Daytona road course he had troubles all day and finished 26th. Wallace struggled out the gate until Phoenix, which was his first strong run of the season. Wallace was running top 15 for most of the day before working his way into the top 10. Following a caution and most of the field pitting, while Wallace stayed out, he restarted first. This move did not work out well for Wallace. Due to him being on old tires and the rest of the field being on new tires, Wallace was quickly cycled out of the first position, dropped back, and wound up making contact with Cole Custer. He ended up finishing 16th.[18] At the 2021 GEICO 500 at Talladega, Wallace had a strong car the entire day. Wallace was running top 10 for a good portion of the day and ended up winning stage 2. This was Wallace’s first career stage win. After an overtime restart, Wallace was cycled to the back of the pack and wound up finishing 19th. At Dover, Wallace finished 11th. At Pocono, Wallace finished the first race in 14th, but finished the second race fifth, scoring the team’s best finish and their first top-five. He finished third at the 2021 Coke Zero Sugar 400 at Daytona, but he was officially scored with a second-place finish after Chris Buescher was disqualified post-inspection.[19] On September 16, Bootie Barker was named crew chief for the remainder of the season after Wheeler was promoted to Director of Competition.[20] Wallace scored his first career win at the rain-shortened 2021 YellaWood 500 at Talladega, becoming only the second Black driver after Wendell Scott to win a Cup race.[21] Wallace finished the season 21st in points.

Wallace began the 2022 season by finishing in second place at the 2022 Daytona 500.[22] On March 29, 2022, Barker was suspended for four races due to a tire and wheel loss during the 2022 Texas Grand Prix at COTA. Dave Rogers was announced as Wallace’s crew chief for Richmond, Martinsville, Bristol, and Talladega.[23] Later in the regular season, Wallace showed strong form, posting four consecutive top-10s at New Hampshire, Pocono, Indianapolis road course, and Michigan.[24]

After failing to make the driver playoffs at Daytona, it was announced that Ty Gibbs would switch to the No. 23 to allow Wallace to compete in the owners championship with the No. 45. At the Texas playoff race, Gibbs veered into Ty Dillon on pit road, nearly sending Dillon towards a NASCAR official and a group of pit crew members; he was subsequently fined US$75,000 and the No. 23 was docked 25 owner points.[25] At Phoenix, Daniel Hemric substituted for Gibbs after the death of his father, Coy Gibbs.[26] Hemric finished 17th.[27]

Wallace started the 2023 season with a 20th place finish at the 2023 Daytona 500. He improved his finishes enough to make the playoffs for the first time in his career.[28] Wallace was eliminated from the Round of 12 at the conclusion of the Charlotte Roval race.[29]

Car No. 23 results[edit]

Year Driver No. Make 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 .mw-parser-output .tooltip-dotted{border-bottom:1px dotted;cursor:help}Owners Pts
2021 Bubba Wallace 23 Toyota DAY
17
DAY
26
HOM
22
LVS
28
PHO
16
ATL
16
BRI
27
MAR
16
RCH
26
TAL
19
KAN
26
DAR
21
DOV
11
COA
39
CLT
14
SON
14
NSH
20
POC
14
POC
5
ROA
24
ATL
14
NHA
26
GLN
23
IND
13
MCH
19
DAY
2
DAR
21
RCH
32
BRI
16
LVS
16
TAL
1
CLT
14
TEX
32
KAN
14
MAR
25
PHO
39
21st 699
2022 DAY
2
CAL
19
LVS
25
PHO
22
ATL
13
COA
38
RCH
26
MAR
16
BRI
28
TAL
17
DOV
16
DAR
27
KAN
10
CLT
28
GTW
26
SON
36
NSH
12
ROA
35
ATL
14
NHA
3
POC
8
IND
5
MCH
2
RCH
13
GLN
35
DAY
11
24th 658
Ty Gibbs DAR
15
KAN
34
BRI
35
TEX
20
TAL
37
CLT
22
LVS
22
HOM
21
MAR
19
Daniel Hemric PHO
17
2023 Bubba Wallace DAY
20
CAL
30
LVS
4
PHO
14
ATL
27
COA
37
RCH
22
BRD
12
MAR
9
TAL
28
DOV
12
KAN
4
DAR
5
CLT
4
GTW
30
SON
17
NSH
15
CSC
31
ATL
25
NHA
8
POC
11
RCH
12
MCH
18
IRC
18
GLN
12
DAY
12
DAR
7
KAN
32
BRI
14
TEX
3*
TAL
23
ROV
16
LVS
12
HOM
6
MAR
11
PHO
10
17th 899
2024 DAY
5
ATL
5
LVS
35
PHO
16
BRI
29
COA
15
RCH
13
MAR TEX TAL DOV KAN DAR CLT GTW SON IOW NHA NSH CSC POC IND RCH MCH DAY DAR ATL GLN BRI KAN TAL ROV LVS HOM MAR PHO

Car No. 45 history[edit]

Kurt Busch in the No. 45 at Auto Club Speedway in 2022
Kurt Busch (2022)

On August 27, 2021, 23XI Racing announced that Kurt Busch will pilot the No. 45 Toyota Camry in 2022.[30] His long time sponsor Monster Energy will follow him. Following the end of the 2021 season, 23XI purchased the former StarCom Racing‘s charter for US$13.5 million, making it the most expensive charter purchase since the implementation of the system in 2016.[31]

Busch began his 2022 season with a 19th place finish at the 2022 Daytona 500. Despite a promising start with top-five finishes at Phoenix and Atlanta, he suffered from poor finishes at COTA, Richmond, Bristol dirt, Dover, and Darlington. However, he rebounded with a win at Kansas.[32] At the Pocono race, Busch was not medically cleared after a crash during qualifying, and subsequently missed the last five races of the regular season.[33][34][35][36] Xfinity Series driver Ty Gibbs substituted Busch for the next six races. He finished 16th at Pocono and 17th at Indianapolis.[37] A 10th place finish at Michigan earned Gibbs his first top-10 finish.[38] The following week at Richmond, Gibbs finished 36th, last due to an engine failure.[39] Gibbs finished 26th at Watkins Glen. On August 25, Busch announced he withdrew his request for a playoff waiver.[40]

Six days later, it was announced that Bubba Wallace would swap rides with Gibbs as the No. 45 entry is still eligible for the owner’s championship.[41][42] Wallace finished ninth at Darlington to open the playoffs. He scored his second career win at Kansas.[43] On October 16, Busch announced he would step away from full-time competition in 2023, with the possibility of running the season on a part-time basis.[44] At Las Vegas, Kyle Larson charged aggressively past Kevin Harvick and Wallace, causing Wallace to scrape the outside wall. Wallace retaliated with a right rear hook on Larson, wrecking both cars down the frontstretch and severely damaging Christopher Bell‘s car in the process. During the caution, Wallace engaged in a shoving match with Larson.[45] Wallace was suspended for one race for the incident; John Hunter Nemechek was assigned to drive the No. 45 at Homestead.[46]

Tyler Reddick (2023–present)
Tyler Reddick in the No. 45 at Auto Club Speedway in 2023.

On October 15, 2022, 23XI Racing announced that it bought out the remainder of Tyler Reddick‘s contract from Richard Childress Racing to replace Kurt Busch in the No. 45 for the 2023 season. Reddick originally signed with 23XI for 2024, but Busch’s concussion and subsequent retirement from full-time competition led to this move.[47]

Reddick started the 2023 season with a 39th place DNF at the 2023 Daytona 500. A month later, he scored his first win of the season at COTA in triple overtime.[48] On May 16, NASCAR docked the No. 45 team 10 owner and driver points for unapproved ballasts during inspection prior to qualifying at Darlington.[49] During the playoffs, Reddick won at Kansas to advance to the Round of 12.[50]

Car No. 45 results[edit]

Year Driver No. Make 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 Owners Pts
2022 Kurt Busch 45 Toyota DAY
19
CAL
8
LVS
13
PHO
5
ATL
3
COA
32
RCH
35
MAR
6
BRI
32
TAL
16
DOV
31
DAR
28
KAN
1*
CLT
31
GTW
3
SON
18
NSH
2
ROA
23
ATL
22
NHA
10
10th 2231
Ty Gibbs POC
16
IND
17
MCH
10
RCH
36
GLN
26
DAY
13
Bubba Wallace DAR
9
KAN
1
BRI
29
TEX
25
TAL
16
CLT
7
LVS
36
MAR
8
PHO
22
John Hunter Nemechek HOM
27
2023 Tyler Reddick DAY
39
CAL
34
LVS
15
PHO
3
ATL
5
COA
1
RCH
16
BRD
2
MAR
22
TAL
16
DOV
7
KAN
9
DAR
22
CLT
5
GTW
35
SON
33
NSH
30
CSC
28
ATL
27
NHA
6
POC
2
RCH
16
MCH
30
IRC
4
GLN
8
DAY
25
DAR
2
KAN
1
BRI
15
TEX
25
TAL
16
ROV
6
LVS
7
HOM
3
MAR
26
PHO
22
6th 2344
2024 DAY
29
ATL
30
LVS
2
PHO
10
BRI
30
COA
5
RCH
10
MAR TEX TAL DOV KAN DAR CLT GTW SON IOW NHA NSH CSC POC IND RCH MCH DAY DAR ATL GLN BRI KAN TAL ROV LVS HOM MAR PHO

Car No. 50/67 history[edit]

Part-time (2023–2024)
Pastrana at the Daytona 500

On January 17, 2023, 23XI announced that Travis Pastrana would attempt to enter the No. 67 Toyota Camry for the 2023 Daytona 500 with sponsorship coming from Black Rifle Coffee Company.[51] On February 14, Pastrana made the entry field by scoring the second fastest lap among the non-chartered teams.[52] He suffered an accident in the qualifying duel and started in the back for the race.[53] Pastrana ended up finishing 11th in the race.[54] On June 7, it was announced that Kamui Kobayashi would make his Cup debut in the No. 67 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course, he would end up finishing 33rd in the race after getting caught up in several wrecks.[55]

On March 13, 2024, it was announced that Kobayashi would once again compete in a race for the team, this time at COTA.[56] The car number will race as the No. 50 instead of the No. 67 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of sponsor Mobil 1. The team plans to run the No. 50 for two more races during the season with different drivers.[57]

Car No. 50/67 results[edit]

Year Driver No. Make 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 Owners Pts
2023 Travis Pastrana 67 Toyota DAY
11
CAL LVS PHO ATL COA RCH BRD MAR TAL DOV KAN DAR CLT GTW SON NSH CSC ATL NHA POC RCH MCH 41st 30
Kamui Kobayashi IRC
33
GLN DAY DAR KAN BRI TEX TAL ROV LVS HOM MAR PHO
2024 50 DAY ATL LVS PHO BRI COA
29
RCH MAR TEX TAL DOV KAN DAR CLT GTW SON IOW NHA NSH CSC POC IND RCH MCH DAY DAR ATL GLN BRI KAN TAL ROV LVS HOM MAR PHO

References[edit]

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