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23XI Racing should hire this popular driver to run a few NASCAR races in 2023

23XI Racing should hire this popular driver to run a few races in the No. 67 car during the 2023 NASCAR season. Plus, who else should get a shot?

23XI Racing
John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

23XI Racing has been one of the fastest-growing organizations in the NASCAR Cup Series since its debut in the 2021 Daytona 500 and that is not expected to slow down anytime soon. With Bubba Wallace and Tyler Reddick as full-time drivers, the sky is the limit.

The team started out with Wallace before adding Kurt Busch to the lineup for the 2022 season. Busch suffered a concussion and hasn’t returned since that point. Reddick jumped in the No. 45 car and has run well during the 2023 NASCAR season.

Also, 23XI Racing hired Travis Pastrana to run a third, part-time entry during the 2023 Daytona 500. It was a success as the organization thinks about the possibility of expansion in the future. With Kamui Kobayashi getting a shot to drive the No. 67 car at the Indianapolis Road Course, who else should receive an opportunity?

Related: 23XI Racing responds to Bubba Wallace’s comments of needing to be replaced

23XI Racing should push to hire this former NASCAR driver for a few races

23XI Racing
Feb 19, 2023; Daytona Beach, Florida, USA; NASCAR Cup Series driver Travis Pastrana (67) pits during the Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

23XI Racing and Trackhouse Racing have represented the new era of race teams in the NASCAR Cup Series. Since their debuts in the 2021 season, both organizations have been great at bringing attention to the sport and giving popular drivers a few opportunities.

Trackhouse Racing did this by introducing PROJECT 91. The program is designed to bring international star drivers to NASCAR and give them an opportunity in stellar equipment. To this point, the No. 91 car has seen Formula 1 champion Kimi Raikkonen behind the wheel.

For the upcoming Cup Series race at the Chicago Street Course in July, Supercars Championship star driver Shane van Gisbergen will become the second driver to pilot the No. 91 car. However, what about 23XI Racing’s third entry?

As stated above, Pastrana drove the No. 67 car to an 11th-place finish in this year’s Daytona 500 as 23XI Racing’s top-finishing driver. It hasn’t been driven since that point but Kobayashi will pilot the entry at the Indianapolis Road Course. So, who should get an opportunity next?

Kasey Kahne, a retired NASCAR driver, would be a great competitor for 23XI Racing to pursue this season. Kahne has been driving in the World of Outlaws on a full-time basis so it is not like he has been out of racing since the 2018 season.

The 43-year-old driver has expressed interest in a return to NASCAR so why not call and see if he is serious about the possibility? Kahne has said his body is in a much better place than it was during the 2018 season and that he would love to drive a stock car again.

Kahne was one of NASCAR’s most popular drivers when he was in the sport and it would be a major move for 23XI Racing overall. Plus, there wouldn’t be a strict limit on the types of tracks that he could run this season.

Kobayashi, specifically, doesn’t have as much experience in the sport as Kahne so that is why he is running on a road course and not an oval track. The former NASCAR driver could easily decide to run at any race track that sounds good to him.

If not Kahne, who else could 23XI Racing pursue to drive the No. 67 car this season? There are definitely plenty of names that make sense but it comes down to availability and sponsorship. Continue reading to find out three ideal drivers for the organization’s third, part-time entry!

Related: 23XI Racing talks about expanding its NASCAR Cup Series program

3 ideal drivers to receive an opportunity in the No. 67 car for 23XI Racing in 2023

IndyCar: GMR Grand Prix Practice and Qualifying
May 12, 2023; Speedway, Indiana, USA; Meyer Shank Racing driver Helio Castroneves (06) of Brazil smiles in his pit after his qualifying run at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course. Mandatory Credit: Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports

23XI Racing has been great for NASCAR and it has only gotten better with the introduction of Pastrana and Kobayashi. So, who else would be a great addition to 23XI Racing for a race or two in 2023?

Daniel Ricciardo is currently out of Formula 1 after being full-time but still helps out Red Bull Racing as the team’s third driver. Ricciardo, 33, is looking to find a seat in Formula 1 for the 2024 season but would he have time to race in NASCAR?

The 33-year-old driver loves America and has expressed interest in trying out NASCAR in the last few years. Ricciardo would certainly be a popular move but it would likely be determined by his availability and desire to race in NASCAR this soon.

Helio Castroneves would also be a brilliant option for the organization. Castroneves, 48, has won the Indianapolis 500 four times (2001, 2002, 2009, 2021) and has 25 victories in his 22 years of being in the NTT IndyCar Series.

The 48-year-old has also finished as the runner-up in the championship four times (2002, 2008, 2013, 2014). Castroneves has expressed interest in racing for a NASCAR organization in the Daytona 500 so why not give him a little bit of experience before the 2024 season?

Finally, Kurt Busch is the most obvious choice for 23XI Racing as a return to NASCAR has not been ruled out. Busch, 44, has been working on returning from his concussion and has received positive updates over the last few months.

The 44-year-old driver hopes to run in NASCAR again but it will take time and the right circumstances. Busch driving the No. 67 car would be a feel-good story and one of the best outcomes during the 2023 season.

23XI Racing has been fantastic at giving popular drivers an opportunity at driving its third entry throughout the 2023 season. Hopefully, it doesn’t stop there, and the organization continues to bring more popular names to NASCAR.