The pieces are falling into place for the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series season. Brad Keselowski has his crew chief, as does Kurt Busch. According to a report by Jenna Fryer of the Associated Press, the 2004 Cup Series champion will work with Billy Scott as he moves to 23XI Racing.
Fryer tweeted out the news on Tuesday, November 2, in response to a report that Keselowski will join forces with Busch’s current crew chief, Matt McCall, when he moves to Roush Fenway Racing in 2022. Busch will now reunite with Scott as he drives the No. 45 Toyota Camry and becomes teammates with Bubba Wallace.
Heavy reached out to 23XI Racing for comment after Fryer’s report. The race team has not yet issued a response confirming or denying that Scott will join forces with Busch in 2022.
Scott & Busch Spent 1 Season Together at Stewart-Haas Racing
The crew chief for Danica Patrick in 2016 and 2017, Scott moved over to the No. 41 team in 2018 after Busch signed a one-year contract extension. The two men started working together with the Daytona 500 and they combined for 22 top-10 finishes, six top-fives, and a win at Bristol Motor Speedway. They reached the playoffs and ended the season seventh in points.
Busch departed SHR at the end of the 2018 season and headed over to Chip Ganassi Racing. He took over the No. 1 Chevrolet and began working with McCall. Scott, on the other hand, remained with SHR and became Daniel Suarez’s crew chief for the 2019 season.
While Scott has not been a full-time crew chief since the end of the 2019 season, he has made intermittent starts. He worked with Justin Haley and Kaulig Racing during the 2020 Daytona 500 and then joined Austin Dillon and Our Motorsports for two Xfinity Series races in 2021.
Prior to working with Patrick and Busch, Scott served as the crew chief for a large number of drivers. He spent time with Brian Vickers (36 races in 2014, two in 2015), Clint Bowyer (18 races in 2015), David Ragan (five races in 2015), Brett Moffitt (two races in 2015), and Michael Waltrip (two races in 2015).
Denny Hamlin Teased a Crew Chief Hire During the Playoffs
Questions have circulated about Busch’s crew chief since October 3 at Talladega Superspeedway. 23XI Racing co-owner Denny Hamlin met with reporters prior to the postponed YellaWood 500 and said that he had both a crew chief and charter for the No. 45 Toyota. Though Front Row Motorsports later walked away from the charter discussions, leaving Hamlin in search of another option.
Hamlin declined to provide the identity of the crew chief, saying that he currently works for another team. Hamlin added that the crew chief was “someone Kurt is comfortable with,” per the Associated Press writer Jenna Fryer. He said that “there are no secrets out there.”
When Hamlin made this statement, there were immediate guesses about who would work with Busch on the No. 45 team. Many people guessed McCall due to a successful relationship at CGR that led to three wins and trips to the playoffs. Others listed Scott as a solid option.
The questions about the crew chief hire continued to circulate for a month until Fryer provided an update. Now the roster is taking shape ahead of a pivotal season for 23XI Racing, Hamlin, and co-owner Michael Jordan.