23XI Racing Officially Names Team President

23XI Racing

Getty Denny Hamlin (right) talks to Bubba Wallace (left) before practice at Daytona International Speedway.

Denny Hamlin and Michael Jordan’s first-year NASCAR Cup Series team has made a significant move. 23XI Racing has officially hired Steve Lauletta as Team President, keeping him in the building for the foreseeable future after he joined the team on an interim basis.

The team issued a press release on Wednesday, Sept. 8, announcing the move. Hamlin explained in a statement that Lauletta has “been invaluable” since taking on the role of interim president at the beginning of the team’s existence. He added that Lauletta was someone with experience who could step immediately into the role and that he has done “a phenomenal job” in his brief tenure.

Prior to joining 23XI Racing, Lauletta worked at Chip Ganassi Racing. He spent 10 years with the two-car race team after taking over as president in 2007. Lauletta spent his tenure overseeing all aspects of CGR’s business and marketing operations, spending time at both the Concord and Indianapolis facilities. He left CGR in 2018 and launched his sports marketing consultancy company, Pigeon Sports Marketing.

“The unique opportunity to continue to work alongside this ownership group to build a race team focused on making significant contributions both on and off the track is one I couldn’t pass up,” Lauletta said in a press release. “I am fortunate to be part of 23XI Racing and I look forward to enhancing existing relationships, adding new partners and growing the organization into one that contends for race wins each week and championships each year.”


The ‘Official’ Hiring of Lauletta Continues a Busy Season

23XI Racing is currently finishing out its first season in the Cup Series as Bubba Wallace fights to stack points each week and lock up a 17th-place finish in the season standings. However, the team continues to plan for the 2022 season and beyond with big moves.

One such example is the purchase of 15 acres of land in Mecklenburg County, N.C. According to “Racing News,” 2311 Real Estate Holdings LLC paid $3.7 million for the land in July 2021. The goal, as Hamlin explained to Fox Sports reporter Bob Pockrass, is to build a new shop and move into it in 2023. Though he added that the lead times on commodities could push the process farther into the future.

23XI Racing has worked out of the old Premium Motorsports shop in North Carolina during the first season in existence. This location provided the team with a spot to build Wallace’s No. 23 Toyota Camry, but it was only a temporary home.


Another Former CGR Employee Will Soon Join Lauletta

While Lauletta is the first former employee of CGR to make the leap to 23XI Racing, he will not be the last. 2004 Cup Series champion Kurt Busch will actually be the second man to do so as he becomes the team’s second driver.

23XI Racing confirmed the rumors on Friday, Aug. 27, and announced that Busch will join the organization at the end of the 2021 Cup Series season. Chip Ganassi Racing will become part of Trackhouse Racing while Busch’s contract with the team will expire and make him a free agent.

Busch will partner with Wallace on the two-car team, and he will make the leap to the Toyota Racing Development family. Instead of heading to the track in the No. 1 Chevrolet Camaro, he will switch to the No. 45 Toyota Camry.

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