HomeSportsNascarNASCAR: 23XI Racing President Talks Diversity, Says Team Wants to ‘Appeal to Everybody’

NASCAR: 23XI Racing President Talks Diversity, Says Team Wants to ‘Appeal to Everybody’

by Jonathan Howard
(Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

It isn’t just NASCAR itself that wants to reach newer audiences and fans, 23XI Racing is determined to bring diversity to its team. Team founders Michael Jordan and Denny Hamlin wanted to do something different. And, they are hoping to be an example others look to. With an outspoken and passionate driver like Bubba Wallace as the face of the team, it just makes sense.

It goes deeper than just the look on the track. They brought on Kurt Busch this season to expand the racing team. It also opens up more opportunities to see a 23XI driver in the postseason. However, it goes further with the crews, the folks behind the scenes, and the mission of the team as a whole.

Steve Lauletta was brought on to lead the team as president after Jordan and Hamlin had set things up. Lauletta had just stepped away from his own career on the track. He was exactly who the team founders wanted to lead their new venture. The team president talked to Sports Business Journal about the diversity mission of the team and what it means.

“It’s a journey — not a destination,” Lauletta said. “Starting with our ownership, partners and everyone on the team, it’s something that we want to make and have made part of our mission and values.”

“We want to do that not only to make the workforce diverse and inclusive, but with our fans, we want to have a brand that can appeal to everybody. It’s been great so far, but we’ve got to continue to focus on it.”

The big names behind-the-scenes were selected carefully. While some come from a motorsports background, others had worked in social media and marketing for companies like Lowe’s. Building a team that could make their mission come to reality.

NASCAR 23XI Racing Looking to Make the Postseason

This season, the 23XI Racing team brought in NASCAR veteran Kurt Busch. With Busch and Wallace out on the track as teammates, the 23XI team is hoping to see two drivers in the top-16 by the time the regular season ends. That’s going to be easier said than done, but the team seems ready to make big moves.

After six races, the latest being at COTA on the road course, Busch is in 13th place with 153 points and two top-5 finishes. Meanwhile, Wallace is in 20th with 122 points and one top-5 finish. The season has a long way to go. These drivers are going to be battling it out each week and with the Next Gen cars, the action on the track has been awesome.

Everyone hopes to make the postseason. Every driver that lines up week in and week out hopes to be racing by the time fall comes rolling around. However, some drivers will have to make moves sooner rather than later. This week, it is the Richmond Raceway in Virginia. The Toyota Owners 400 would be a great time for one of these drivers to take a checkered flag, wouldn’t it? A Toyota driver has yet to win a Next Gen race.