23XI Racing has taken another significant step toward the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series season. The team has announced multiple personnel moves and confirmed that Billy Scott and Bootie Barker will serve as crew chiefs for Kurt Busch and Bubba Wallace, respectively.
23XI Racing issued a press release on Tuesday, November 16, announcing the news. The organization confirmed the previous report that Scott will reunite with Busch and continue a partnership from the 2018 season at Stewart-Haas Racing. The announcement also confirmed that Barker will remain with Wallace after taking over for the final eight races of the 2021 season.
Scott and Busch combined for 22 top-10 finishes, six top-fives, and a win at Bristol Motor Speedway during their lone season together. They reached the playoffs and ended the season seventh in points while Joey Logano won the Cup Series championship.
“The chemistry Billy and I had together a few years back at SHR (Stewart Haas Racing) was strong,” Busch said in a statement. “We raced smart and built solid consistency with each other. That showed with the results and the fun the team had together. Winning races is what it’s all about and our past experiences will help build the future at 23XI.”
Barker Helped Wallace Win His First Career Cup Series Race
Wallace and Barker were only together for a fraction of the 2021 season. Barker only took over as crew chief at Bristol Motor Speedway, resulting in a 16th-place finish. The duo combined for three more top-20 finishes — Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Charlotte Roval, and Kansas Speedway. They also won their first career race together at Talladega Superspeedway.
“Bootie and I clicked from the start,” Wallace said in a statement. “He’s been a great addition to the No. 23 team and in just the short time he’s been the crew chief, he’s helped me on and off the track to be better every time I get in the car. To get the win together at Talladega, the first win for both of us, was really special. I’m excited to continue to build this team with Bootie and to see what we can accomplish together next season. I’m pumped to get to Daytona and get the year started.”
Wallace and Barker will move forward toward their first full season together. They will work on the Next Gen program and strive to contend for more wins on a weekly basis. The duo will also have guaranteed entry into the annual NASCAR All-Star Race due to the win at Talladega.
23XI Racing Added Several Figures to the Team for 2022
The two-car team did not stop with simply announcing that Scott and Barker will be crew chiefs for Busch and Wallace. 23XI Racing also revealed that several other key figures will join for 2022 season.
David Bryant will make the move with Busch from Chip Ganassi Racing to 23XI Racing. He will serve as the car chief for the No. 45 Toyota Camry. Similarly, Steve Wolfe will move from CGR and take over as 23XI Racing’s assembly manager. Julian Pena, a current 23XI Racing employee, will take over as race engineer for the No. 45.
Zach Marquardt will make the move from Roush Fenway Racing and join 23XI Racing for 2022. He will serve as car chief on the No. 23 team. Mike Lorusso will move from Joe Gibbs Racing and join 23XI Racing as director of race team operation. Finally, Etienne Cliche will continue in the role of race engineer for the No. 23 team.