The driver of the No. 45 Toyota Camry for 23XI Racing has just provided an extended look at the future. Kurt Busch hit the track on December 15 and showcased the Monster Energy primary scheme for his Next Gen stock car.
The 2004 NASCAR Cup Series champion provided the look prior to the first of two test sessions at Charlotte Motor Speedway. He tweeted out a photo of the No. 45 Monster Energy Toyota with its black base and green and white decals. Busch then headed out onto the track and took a multitude of laps around the oval to generate data for his team.
The scheme appeared to be the same one that Busch and 23XI Racing used to reveal that he will move to the Denny Hamlin and Michael Jordan co-owned team in 2022. The decals are in the same spot. The primary difference between the two stock cars is that the roll cage from the reveal video was red while the one at Charlotte Motor Speedway was black.
The last time that Busch took part in a Next Gen test session, he showed off a more generic scheme on the No. 45. This black and red design simply had the door number, as well as some small sponsor logos for McDonald’s, DoorDash, Dr. Pepper, and Columbia Sportswear, all of whom work with Bubba Wallace.
Busch Took On His Peers During a Test Race
With Wallace recovering from an offseason shoulder surgery, Busch was the main driver for 23XI Racing during the first test session. He took several laps around Charlotte Motor Speedway, along with many of his peers, and then he actually took part in a test race.
The drivers lined up for some sample starts and took part in some good-natured competition. They fought for position at the fan-favorite track while also generating even more data about pack racing and dirty air.
One of these 15-lap “races” featured two former champions fighting for position before crossing the start-finish line. Busch and the RFK Racing entry led a large group that also included the No. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing entry, the No. 9 Hendrick Motorsports entry, and the No. 99 Trackhouse Racing entry. Busch crossed the line first while Keselowski took second.
Busch Will Return to the No. 45 Toyota Camry After 1 Day Off
With one day of testing complete, Busch will now have one day to examine data with the 23XI Racing team before making his return to the No. 45 Toyota Camry TRD. This day off will provide crucial feedback before even more tests at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
The next test session featuring Busch and his peers will take place on Friday, December 17. Many of the other teams will put other drivers behind the wheel so that more will be involved in the process, but Busch will continue to serve as the primary driver for this session.
While he will gain even more experience during the second day of testing, Busch has already shown that he is ready to potentially contend for wins during the 2022 Cup Series season, his first in a Toyota. He posted the third-fastest time during the December 15 session at 29.831 seconds. He was also one of three drivers to top 181 mph during the session.
Team Penske’s Ryan Blaney topped the list with a lap time of 29.668 seconds at 182.014 mph. Ross Chastain was the second-fastest while driving the No. 99 Trackhouse Racing entry. He posted a lap time of 29.671 seconds at a speed of 181.996 mph.