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Michael Jordan’s Star and the ‘Jesus’ of Road Course Heaves His Apprehension As New Strategy Comes to Play

Published 10/02/2023, 11:19 AM EDT

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via Reuters

After a disappointing end to the Talladega race, Michael Jordan will be expecting nothing less than a strong comeback from his drivers. The NBA legend’s team has been performing well of late, but last Sunday was a day to forget. The only issue for Jordan’s drivers in the next race will be that it is at the hybrid Charlotte Roval with a slight change in the rules. Thankfully for the 23XI Racing owner, he has one of the best road course drivers in his team, who was dubbed ‘Jesus’ of road courses only a few months ago.

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The Charlotte Roval is quite an interesting track, for obvious reasons. It has elements of both a road course and an oval, which makes it extremely difficult to strategize for and navigate. You can’t win a championship over there, but you can most definitely lose your chance. Both of Michael Jordan’s drivers are in danger of losing their chances at the Roval. What makes things even more interesting is the fact that NASCAR will be bringing back stage breaks in road courses starting from the Charlotte race.

NASCAR insiders reveal ‘Jesus’s’ strategy for upcoming race


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Let’s be quite honest, 2023 has been a successful year for Michael Jordan’s 23XI Racing, but there is no such thing as too much success. The NBA legend can rest assured that both his drivers will give it their best to make it into the round of 8. But there is one who is more likely to go through than the other.

According to Bubba Wallace, the man who is the best road course driver on the grid today, the ‘Jesus’, is none other than his own teammate Tyler Reddick. Reddick has been in good form when it comes to road courses this year. In the four road courses held so far this year, the driver of the No. 45 has finished within the top ten thrice. His best result came early in the season at the iconic COTA where he clinched his first win of the season. It was after that result and ahead of the Sonoma race that Wallace named his teammate after the son of god.


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But even ‘Jesus’ has his doubts and apprehensions going into Charlotte. It’s not that Reddick is unfamiliar with the track or anything, but has to do with stage breaks. Stage breaks did not use to be part of road courses, but NASCAR decided to bring them back from the upcoming Roval race in a bid to make the events more interesting. This will indeed make things interesting when it comes to team strategies, and that is what NASCAR journalists Jeff Gluck and Jordan Bianchi spoke about on a recent episode of The Teardown.

Gluck brought up a point HMS star William Byron had made earlier, stating that bringing stage breaks back to road courses would make it impossible for anyone to race for stage points and the win. As overtaking is so difficult, drivers will have to choose. He then revealed the kind of strategy Tyler Reddick believed he required going into the last round of 12 race.

“Tyler Reddick was saying on NBC after the race like, Hey, you know, we feel like we’re in a position to go for stage points and then we’ll just race it out and see what we can do. But if we can go win both stages and get 20 stage points, we’re probably gonna be okay because he’s…Reddick is down by 2 right now to the cutline you know, so, we’ll see,” Jeff Gluck said.

Ahead of the Talladega race, both Tyler Reddick and Bubba Wallace were below the cutline and the situation has not changed. The two have been good teammates so far, but their competition could just start to bubble and fans saw a glimpse of it before Sunday’s race.

Will Michael Jordan’s team implode next week?

Ahead of the event at the Talladega Superspeedway, both Tyler Reddick and Bubba Wallace had implied that the season was at a point where it had to be every man for himself. It did cause a bit of a buzz among fans, but the competition did not show on track.


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“I mean you help yourself by helping your line for the most part. If you can get around fellow even teammates, that’s better. So I wouldn’t say it’s quite that crazy like you are not gonna sacrifice your own line just because the guy in front of you is battling around the same position that you are on points,” Reddick had said in an interview.

“Yes, it is nice to be able to have people to rely on and get some insight from, but at the end of the day they are competitors,” quipped Wallace.


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The Roval will be the last opportunity for both drivers to confirm their round of 8 spots. If the two find themselves battling for the race win or the final spot in the next round, Michael Jordan can forget about his teammates helping each other out.

Watch this story: Kyle Busch’s Heartfelt Farewell to KBM

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Written by:

Nilavro Ghosh


One take at a time

Nilavro Ghosh is a NASCAR Writer at EssentiallySports. He started his journey as a motorsports fan with Moto GP and Formula One, before gravitating towards NASCAR a few years back. The high-octane nature of stock car racing paired with the racecraft on display drew him into the sport.
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Edited by:

Deepanshi Bajaj