23XI Racing Confirms Charter Purchase for No. 45 Toyota

Kurt Busch

Getty Kurt Busch (right) attends a test at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

The 2004 NASCAR Cup Series champion officially has guaranteed entry into every race on the 2022 schedule. 23XI Racing has confirmed the purchase of a charter for Kurt Busch’s No. 45 Monster Energy Toyota Camry TRD.

23XI Racing President Steve Lauletta appeared on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio on Tuesday, November 16, and confirmed the purchase of the charter. He explained that they finalized the deal that same day and that they had purchased it from StarCom Racing, the team that ended its full-time run in the Cup Series after 164 races.

“We have the charter we needed and wanted for the [No.] 45, so both of our cars will have charters for next season,” Lauletta said. “It’s an interesting process trying to make sure that everything is aligned — both from our desire to get the right, you know, package in terms of what goes into purchasing a charter and then for the seller to get the right package on their end. We were lucky enough to work with StarCom [Racing].”

Another Organization Got Involved in the Deal

The deal was not a straightforward transaction between 23XI Racing and StarCom Racing. Lauletta also revealed that Spire Motorsports was involved as well and that the team had a separate deal going on regarding equipment. This extra factor prompted all three organizations to get together and work out the transaction.

Lauletta didn’t provide further information about Spire’s involvement, but Jenna Fryer of the Associated Press added some more details. She said that she believes “Spire bought everything,” which included StarCom’s building and equipment. Fryer added that she believes Spire then sold the charter to 23XI Racing.

Spire Motorsports sold two of the team’s charters to Kaulig Racing, a deal that went into effect after the championship race at Phoenix on November 7. This transaction left Spire with only one for the 2022 season. According to FOX Sports reporter Bob Pockrass and other media members, Spire was the expected buyer of the StarCom charter, but 23XI Racing ultimately ended up with it after the three organizations sat down together.

StarCom Racing Announced the Charter Sale Ahead of the Final Race

Reports of StarCom Racing selling its charter first surfaced over the summer, but the team did not provide any immediate confirmation. StarCom Racing waited until the final race weekend of the season before announcing the end of the team’s full-time run in the NASCAR Cup Series.

“It is with a heavy heart that we say goodbye to our StarCom Racing fans. After the championship this weekend, our [No. 00] charter will take new ownership. Thank you so much to all our fans for the fun memories and loyal support over the years! [z00m],” the NASCAR team tweeted on Friday, November 5.

Once the checkered flag waved with Kyle Larson claiming his first championship trophy, the No. 00’s time in the Cup Series came to an end. Now Busch will use that stock car’s charter for his inaugural season with 23XI Racing. He will climb into the No. 45 Toyota and join forces with Bubba Wallace, who drives the No. 23 Toyota.

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