After winning a race in their first season of competition in 2021, 23XI Racing is set to double up in 2022 with the addition of a second car to their stable. The team, co-owned by NBA icon Michael Jordan and NASCAR Cup Series star Denny Hamlin, will field the new No. 45 Toyota in addition to the No. 23. Both now have all the perks of a top-flight team.
During an appearance on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, 23XI Racing team president Steve Lauletta confirmed that the team has secured a second charter for the No. 45 Toyota to be driven by Kurt Busch in 2022. The charter acquired by 23XI Racing had previously belonged to StarCom Racing, which sold its assets at the conclusion of the 2021 season.
As NASCAR's version of a franchise, a charter guarantees a team a starting spot in every Cup Series race and also guarantees a portion of the purse from each race, as well as certain other financial benefits (including a tangible asset to be sold if a team ceases operations). According to a recent report by Adam Stern of Sports Business Journal, NASCAR charters have doubled in value since last year and were expected to sell for $12 million.
"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, and then for the seller to get the right package on their end," Lauletta said. "So we were lucky enough to work with StarCom, and they also have some things going with Spire (Motorsports) with equipment and other pieces. So the three of us kind of got together and we now have the charter that we need on the No. 45."
In addition to the team's charter news, 23XI Racing has also confirmed its crew chief lineup for 2022, as well as several other key hires.
Billy Scott will serve as crew chief for Kurt Busch and will be one of several crew members to follow Busch to 23XI from Chip Ganassi Racing. Scott and Busch had previously worked together at Stewart-Haas Racing in 2018, where Scott guided Busch to six Top 5s, 22 Top 10s, and a win at Bristol en route to a seventh-place finish in the season standings.
After taking over crew chief duties late in the 2021 season, Bootie Barker will continue to be the crew chief for Bubba Wallace and the No. 23 team in 2022. Barker guided Wallace to his first career win and the first win in 23XI Racing history in October at Talladega. Barker will also serve as 23XI's senior setup engineer, while Scott will double as the team's senior race engineer.