Michael Jordan’s 23XI Racing aims to put themselves on a ‘big stage’ with Kamui Kobayashi’s NASCAR debut

Kamui Kobayashi is the first international driver that will drive for 23XI.


Michael Jordan’s 23XI Racing aims to put themselves on a ‘big stage’ with Kamui Kobayashi’s NASCAR debut

Kamui Kobayashi (Credits: @Jeffstertrd /Twitter) and Michael Jordan (Credits: @23xiracing/ Twitter)

The upcoming Cup race event at Indianapolis Motor Speedway will be a race to watch for every race of fans worldwide. It will feature some of the most elite racers from exploring NASCAR at the iconic track. The lineup includes an F1 world champion, a Le Mans winner, a WEC legend, and Supercars champion drivers.

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2009 F1 champion Jenson Button will make his third Cup start of the season with RWR. He is joined by three times V8 Supercars champions, Shane van Gisbergan in the Trackhouse Racing Project 91 car. He won the inaugural Chicago Street Race on his debut. Brodie Kostecki, the current champion leader in Supercars, will make his Cup debut with RCR. Two times Le Mans winner Mike Rockenfeller will drive the No:42 car replacing Noah Gragson.

Another major entry to the event is the former Formula 1 driver and WEC legend Kamui Kobayashi. He will make his NASCAR debut at Indy. The veteran driver is tipped to come out on top in the battle of the ringers. Steve Lauletta, 23XI Racing’s president, hopes that the move can put the two and half-year-old brand, owned by Michael Jordan and Denny Hamlin, on a big stage internationally.

You know we’re trying to do a lot in a short amount of time. We’re only two and a half-ish years old as a brand, and we like to push ourselves and take advantage of things that puts our team on a bigger stage. And obviously, with Kamui’s motorsports lineage, with his connection to Toyota, you know the fan base he has around the world, and in Japan, they will put our brand on a big stage,” Forbs quotes Lauletta.

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23XI insists that Kamui Kobayashi’s entry won’t distract them from regular drivers

Bubba Wallace (2)
Bubba Wallace and Tyler Reddick at North Wilkesboro (Credits: @23xiracing)

23XI’s Tyler Reddick is the defending champion going into the Indy weekend, and he will be hoping to secure the same success he had at COTA earlier this season. For his teammate, Bubba Wallace, Indy and the coming race at Glen are all about securing maximum points as a win; they are unrealistic for him.

With this much priority, when asked if the Japanese driver’s entry distracts them, Steve Lauletta insists it isn’t. He went on to claim that the team sees Oi as an opportunity to try something new and learn more about road course racing.

We just felt like it would help the overall program in the long run, and knowing that we were confident it wasn’t going to take any focus away or be a distraction, we decided to jump in and see what happens this weekend,” SteveLauletta said.

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