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Michael Jordan’s Former Driver Reveals His Expectations From Their Only Hope as Playoffs Heat Up

Published 10/06/2023, 4:19 PM EDT

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In the heat of NASCAR’s playoffs, there’s no telling who might pop up in the rearview mirror. As the tracks sizzle with tension, Tyler Reddick of 23XI Racing, backed by basketball legend Michael Jordan, is focused on the challenge ahead at the Charlotte Roval. Moreover, with the wisdom of veterans like Kurt Busch, Reddick may just have an edge.

As the Cup Series playoffs intensify, every move, every race, and every driver’s performance comes under the spotlight. In a recent episode of the “Kenny Conversation” show hosted by Kenny Wallace, 2004 NASCAR Cup champion Kurt Busch expressed his expectations for Tyler Reddick, who replaced him on the #45 Camry this season.

Kurt Busch’s Expectations from Tyler Reddick

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Daytona International Speedway witnessed an emotional adieu as Kurt Busch announced his retirement. The champ stepped down, haunted by a concussion from a year ago. Hence, the spotlight now swings toward Tyler Reddick. He is dangerously close to the elimination line, a mere two points below it. However, the Charlotte Roval lies ahead. And Reddick shines on road courses.

In the candid conversation, Kurt Busch emphasized the importance of Reddick taking ownership and really immersing himself in his role. “I want Tyler Reddick,” Busch began, “to make it feel like it’s his car. Like it’s his team and that’ll help us advance quicker.”

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But where does this leave Bubba Wallace, Reddick’s 23XI Racing comrade? Wallace, despite his valiant efforts, seems to be grappling with road courses. His odds for a win this Sunday are thin, a stark contrast to Reddick’s. Yet, in the unpredictable realm of NASCAR, fortunes flip faster than cars on a wet track.

Watch This Story: Bubba Wallace Receives a Five Word Ultimatum From His NASCAR Team Employee Just Hours Before Billionaire Michael Jordan’s Approval

But how well can the 23XI racer of Michael Jordan perform on road courses?

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Charlotte Roval showdown for the star of Michael Jordan

As playoff temperatures rise, all eyes are on Reddick and Bubba Wallace, both from the 23XI Racing stable. While Wallace has struggled historically in road course races, the stakes are high for Reddick. With a talent for maneuvering road courses and three wins under his belt, Reddick sits just two points behind the playoff threshold, closely tailing Brad Keselowski. Reddick’s stats are impressive, averaging 33.3 points per race at the Charlotte road course and with three road-course wins in the Next Gen car.

To add spice to the mix, Ross Chastain and Kyle Busch are on Reddick’s tail in the standings. With both drivers holding their own strengths, the Charlotte Roval promises edge-of-the-seat action. For Reddick, the equation is simple: win at Charlotte and rewrite the playoff narrative. Given his past performance and Keselowski’s vulnerable position, this weekend could be full of surprises.

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Looming large is the Bank of America Roval 400, a race that could either cement Reddick’s position or see him fizz out. Boasting three road-course wins in the Next Gen car, including a victory at Circuit of The Americas, the last hope of Michael Jordan could well be the wildcard the playoffs desperately need.

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Written by:

Brahmi Dhaytadak

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Brahmi Dhaytadak is a NASCAR Author at EssentiallySports. Taking heed to her fascination for stock car racing and literature, she decided early on in her career to tread the path of a Motorsport Journalist in NASCAR. Using her conversational style of writing, she entertains her fans, keeping them up to date with everything on and off court.
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Edited by:

Nischal Kandpal