On Friday (August 27) one more piece of the Silly Season puzzle has fallen into place after 23XI Racing announced the driver for the second full time team they intend to field beginning in the 2022 season.

With the sale of Chip Ganassi Racing earlier this year, drivers Kurt Busch and Ross Chastain found themselves without a ride after the end of this season.  Ross Chastain has signed a deal with Trackhouse Racing – who purchased Chip Ganassi Racing – and will join Daniel Suarez for next season.

Kurt Busch will driver the number 45 car and join Bubba Wallace at 23XI Racing for the 2022 season.  Busch brings current sponsor Monster Energy with him to the new team.

23XI Racing is owned by NBA legend Michael Jordan and driver of the number eleven Cup Series car Denny Hamlin.  Jordan was best known for wearing the number 23 uniform during his playing career; but he also wore the number 45 – Busch’s new number – during his Hall of Fame career and when he played minor league baseball.

Kurt Busch spoke on the opportunity via a release saying, “I cannot begin to express my gratitude for this opportunity. 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.”

Minor team owner Denny Hamlin spoke on the expansion saying, “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.  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.”

The 2022 racing season the 43 year old Kurt Busch will make his 22nd season as a Cup Series driver.  This will mark the first time that Busch will drive a Toyota…joining younger brother Kyle in a Toyota.

feature photo credit: Kurt Busch in 2016 Stewart-Haas Racing (cropped).jpg