One Last Piece in the Kurt Busch to 23XI Puzzle Is Still Missing

Published 08/31/2021, 1:32 PM EDT
SONOMA, CA – JUNE 21: Kurt Busch, No. 1 Monster Energy Chevrolet for Chip Ganassi Racing enters Turn 4 during practice for the Monster Energy NASCAR Toyota / Save Mart 350, in Sonoma, CA. (Photo by Larry Placido/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)


Recently, news broke that 23XI Racing has recruited Kurt Busch to pilot their second car in 2022. To be precise, the 2004 Cup Series champion will drive the #45 Toyota alongside Bubba Wallace. Of course, the outfit still has to acquire a charter in order to run the #45 Toyota.

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For a long time, buying a charter has always been a stumbling block for a team’s planned expansion. Now, the outfit has made the mistake of announcing an expansion, without securing a second charter. Owing to this, the team will soon be forced to scramble to purchase a charter.

It is also worth mentioning that 23XI Racing purchased a charter from the now-defunct Germain Racing in 2020. As a result, it was possible for them to field Bubba Wallace’s #23 car. Admittedly, the team have fully purchased the charter, and not had it leased to them.

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How can 23XI Racing field a car for Kurt Busch?

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On the bright side, reports have suggested that the outfit could potentially buy a charter from Front Row Motorsports. Another option on the cards is a likely merger between the two teams. FRM currently run two chartered entries, with Michael McDowell and Anthony Alfredo behind the wheel. McDowell pilots the #34 car, while Alfredo drives the #38 car, with David Ragan running part-time.

Feb 28, 2021; Homestead, Florida, USA; NASCAR Cup Series driver Bubba Wallace(23) races during the Dixie Vodka 400 Homestead-Miami Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Whether the purchase will take place or not, is anybody’s guess. However, the team will be desperate to acquire a charter through any means. Otherwise, they could potentially look foolish for announcing the recruitment without securing the charter. Of course, Denny Hamlin and Michael Jordan will try their hardest to seal the deal and further their plans.

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For now, the team will be focusing on the remainder of the 2021 Cup Series season. Bubba Wallace painfully missed out on a playoff berth despite a career-best second at Daytona. So, the best that they can achieve is 17th in the championship. Meanwhile, Kurt Busch is busy preparing for his playoff campaign with Chip Ganassi Racing and will want to leave on a high note.

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Dhruv George

12001 articles

Dhruv George is a senior Formula One and NASCAR analyst for EssentiallySports, having authored nearly 12000 articles spanning different sports like F1, NASCAR, Tennis, NFL, and eSports. He graduated with a PG Diploma in Journalism from the Xavier Institute of Communications. Dhruv has also conducted interviews with F1 driver Pierre Gasly and Moto2 rider Tony Arbolino.

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