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Michael Jordan and 23XI Racing Do Things Differently.

Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

Fans flocked to Romare Bearden Park on the first Saturday of college football season to attend ESPN’s production of College GameDay. Nestled among the thousands of fans present was a Carolina blue Toyota Camry TRD bearing the Jumpman logo.

Founded in 2020, Michael Jordan and Denny Hamlin strive to do things differently. Having a driver attend College GameDay is quite a start. The collaboration makes sense as the kickoff to college football season started in the home of NASCAR, Charlotte, NC. Having the GameDay crew attend the Charlotte Motor Speedway and a driver appear on the live telecast will only promote the brand and bring younger, newer fans to the sport. Jordan’s collaboration with NASCAR as an owner will undoubtedly invite fans of the greatest basketball player of all time to the racetrack to watch his team perform. If Jordan’s track record of greatness is a barometer for 23XI Racing, championships are certainly on the horizon for drivers Bubba Wallace and Tyler Reddick. Both drivers made the playoffs for the first time in the team’s history, and they did not disappoint. Driver Tyler Reddick finished 2nd, while Bubba Wallace finished in 7th. Both drivers are continuing to next week’s race at Kansas Speedway. Reddick is firmly in the playoff mix with a current standing of 3rd place, while Wallace needs a strong finish this week to move past the 13th place spot and into the top 12.

Absent behind the wheel for 23XI Racing will be driver Kurt Busch. The 2004 Cup champion recently announced his retirement from driving. Busch is undoubtedly a hall-of-fame driver, amassing 34 wins over his career, including a victory at the 2017 Daytona 500. While Busch’s presence on the racetrack will certainly be missed, between owners Denny Hamlin and Michael Jordan, the future of racing both at 23XI and at NASCAR is in good hands. Busch was present at GameDay and was asked about running the Carolina blue car in South Carolina at Darlington Motor Speedway. To no one’s surprise, Busch and 23XI racing were pulling for the Tarheels. Like drivers Reddick and Wallace, the Tarheels found similar success in their matchup, beating the South Carolina Gamecocks 31-17 Saturday night at Bank of America Stadium. What a weekend for 23XI racing!

Justin Shealy