Kurt Busch has done it all in NASCAR, winning the Daytona 500 in 2017, the Cup Series Championship in 2004 and 33 races in his Cup Series career. Now he's taking on a new challenge as he has joined 23IX Racing, which is co-owned by NASCAR driver Denny Hamlin and NBA legend Michael Jordan. PopCulture.com recently caught up with Busch who opened up about working for Jordan, who won six NBA Championships in his career.
"It's intimidating, but at the same time he demands performance," Busch exclusively told PopCulture. "And that's who I am. I love to pull from within and to bring that tenacity and to bring that drive each and every day to the racetrack or to the race shop. And it helps the others around me learn and give that same effort. And so it's that right here, it's right here in your soul where you push harder. Denny Hamlin's the same way as an owner/driver. And so it's a great balance all the way through with the ownership, with my teammate Bubba Wallace, and the way that Toyota is pushing us as well."
Busch is the second driver to join the team, which had its first season in 2021. Wallace, who finished second in this year's Daytona 500, had an up-and-down year with 23IX Racing last season, and adding Busch to the team could give him the boost needed to take his racing to the next level.
"Bubba has definitely got all the things going right for him with, especially with the win last year at Talladega," Busch said. "And to feel that moment and to put that, not necessarily behind him, but to use that as the next plateau to stand on. His journey is very different than many drivers is in the way that he's pushed himself to the top. You're there buddy. Now you're there. So start from there and let's build this team together at 23XI. That's the motivation I'm giving him, and I think he's absorbing it really well."
On Sunday, Busch finished 19th in the Daytona 500, which is his best finish in the race since winning it five years ago. He will look to have a stronger finish on Sunday when he participates in the WISE Power 400 at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California.