Michael Jordan’s First Ever Championship Chase in Jeopardy as 23XI Racing Leaves Star Duo Out to Dry

Published 10/08/2023, 5:41 PM EDT

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The regular season finale still burns fresh in the minds of every NASCAR enthusiast. With Chris Buescher winning the final race in Daytona, Bubba Wallace for the first time in his Cup Series career was able to advance to the playoffs. Emotions were apparent on the face of the driver, who tends to be hard on himself. Moreover, Wallace’s team owner and NBA legend Michael Jordan was seen consoling the driver on the pit road.

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Nonetheless, there is no denying the fact that the 23XI Racing drivers have survived endless pit-road problems, which have cost them precious stage points and also on-track positions. While the drivers were able to pull the reigns of their fate, it was not long before similar problems made a comeback and haunted them. Moreover, this was apparent in the most crucial race of the season, where both races encountered the same fate.

Michael Jordan faces a curveball for his team at Charlotte Roval


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Among the few teams on the NASCAR grid, Michael Jordan’s NASCAR team was one of the teams, where both of its drivers were not only able to qualify for the post-season but also advance up to the Round of 12. However, to juxtapose, both the drivers entered the final race of the round in Roval, sitting below the cutline and on the brink of elimination from the race.

Nevertheless, the qualifying brought a sense of respite for both the drivers especially the ‘Jesus’ of road course Tyler Reddick, who won the pole position for the race, while Bubba Wallace, was just behind him in the starting grid. To add the cherry on the top, Reddick also won Stage 1 of the race.


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However, the favorable stint of running came to a quick end, as both the drivers faced a similar fate Chase Elliott back in Watkins Glen. Both 23XI Racing drivers complained of fuel pressure. Tyler Reddick was heard speaking on the radio, “I’m out of gas, I’m out of gas.” However, his No.45 Toyota team delivered an ambiguous reply and asked him to cycle the fuel switch.

Reddick’s teammate, on the other hand, blasted on the radio, “Oh my God. Fuel pressure. Stumbling.” However, his team assured him that there was enough fuel in his car. Moreover, the No.23 Toyota team also informed Wallace that his car would have to undergo a reset in his ECU unit.

Fans join in the sympathy bandwagon for 23XI Racing drivers

After sustaining so long into the playoffs, the radio conversation proved to be disappointing, as it threw a wrench in Michael Jordan’s championship quest. Moreover, fans also were also under a dilemma, as both the team radio echoed the same problems.

Fans wrote on Twitter, “I’m listening to Bubba. Bubba was calling for fuel pressure issues also. Might be a 23XI issue…”

“23XI disasterclass incoming?”

“23XI have bad sensors????”

Others also chimed in, “If only it was Denny…”


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With that being said, 23XI Racing’s co-owner Denny Hamlin also suffered a fateful end on the track. After running in the front of the field, the driver lost his right rear and spun out on the track, which forced him back to the pit lane. However, was able to advance to the next round given his points buffer.



Written by:

Ayantika Maitra


One take at a time

Ayantika Maitra is a NASCAR Writer at EssentiallySports. It was initially Formula 1 that made her fall in love with the world of motorsports. But quickly, the raw and unfiltered nature of NASCAR is what led her to build an affinity for the Stock Car Racing Series.
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Edited by:

Nischal Kandpal




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