Bubba Wallace, Kurt Busch, 23XI Racing, Daytona 500, NASCAR (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
23XI Racing are set to field a third entry for Travis Pastrana as he attempts to qualify for the 2023 NASCAR Cup Series season-opening Daytona 500.
23XI Racing announced that Travis Pastrana is set to join the team in an attempt to qualify for the 2023 NASCAR Cup Series season-opening Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway next month.
Pastrana is set to pilot a third entry for the team in an attempt to make the 40-car field for the 65th running of the Great American Race. He is set to drive the No. 67 Toyota, which is slated to be sponsored by Black Rifle Coffee. Eric Phillips has been named the crew chief of the new entry.
Because the No. 67 Toyota is not one of the 36 chartered entries and there are now more than four non-chartered entries on the entry list, Pastrana must lock himself into the field in either the single-car qualifying session or in the Bluegreen Vacations Duels.
Why is 23XI Racing’s Daytona 500 entry for Pastrana using the No. 67?
The team’s original number, No. 23, is an obvious nod to the NBA career of Michael Jordan, who co-owns the team along with Joe Gibbs Racing driver Denny Hamlin. The team’s name, 23XI Racing, is derived from Jordan’s number (23) and Hamlin’s number (11, which is XI in Roman numerals).
The team went with the No. 45 when they added a second car since Jordan had also used that number for a brief period of his career.
Bubba Wallace is set for his third season behind the wheel of the No. 23 Toyota, while Tyler Reddick is set to replace Kurt Busch behind the wheel of the No. 45 Toyota.
So why No. 67 for Pastrana?
While the No. 67, which hasn’t been used in a Cup Series race by any team since 2002, doesn’t have any direct tie to Hamlin or Jordan, it does make sense as a third number for 23XI Racing because of what the team’s two full-time numbers are.
In addition to 23 and 45, now they have 67 (2-3-4-5-6-7). A fourth entry, if and when it happens, would obviously have to be No. 89, right?