Kurt Busch will team up with Bubba Wallace at 23XI Racing in 2022

·2 min read

Kurt Busch's ride for 2022 is official.

23XI Racing announced Friday that Busch would be joining the team next season as it expands to two cars. The 2004 Cup Series champion will team with Bubba Wallace on the team owned by Denny Hamlin and Michael Jordan. 

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The addition of Busch means that Toyota will have a sixth factory-backed car in 2022 as NASCAR implements a new Cup Series car. Toyota had been at four top-tier cars until 2021 when Hamlin teamed with Jordan to form 23XI and field a car for Wallace. 

Busch currently drives for Chip Ganassi Racing, an organization that will cease to exist after 2021. CGR sold to Trackhouse Racing. Trackhouse, which fields a car for Daniel Suarez, will have cars for Suarez and Busch's current CGR teammate Ross Chastain in 2022.

Busch is currently 14th in the points standings and locked into the playoffs thanks to his win at Atlanta earlier this summer. He's made the playoffs in all but three seasons since NASCAR implemented the playoff format in 2004. Busch beat out Jimmie Johnson by eight points for the title that season. 

BROOKLYN, MICHIGAN - AUGUST 22: Kurt Busch, driver of the #1 Monster Energy Chevrolet, walks the grid prior to the NASCAR Cup Series FireKeepers Casino 400 at Michigan International Speedway on August 22, 2021 in Brooklyn, Michigan. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Kurt Busch is joining a new crew (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)

The team hasn't said if it will have a charter for Busch's car in 2022. A charter is a guaranteed entry into every NASCAR race and guarantees a team a bigger share of NASCAR purse money. 23XI would have to purchase a charter from an existing team if it wants to buy one for Busch. 

Look how far forward the number is

Watch the video above closely. The No. 45 — Jordan's number after he returned to the NBA following a brief retirement — is moved all the way toward the front wheel on the side of Busch's car.

NASCAR has been experimenting with number placement on the cars ahead of the 2022 season under the guise of increased sponsor opportunities for teams. Simply put, moving the number either forward or backward from the door area is not nearly as aesthetically pleasing as it is now. But that's going to be the norm going forward — no pun intended. NASCAR confirmed to NBC that car numbers will be moved forward in 2022. 

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