Shane van Gisbergen NASCAR landing spots: No. 3 – 23XI Racing
This would easily be the most competitive seat for Shane van Gisbergen, should it become available.
23XI Racing have shown massive improvement since their debut season in 2021, and they are in position for both of their drivers, Tyler Reddick and Bubba Wallace, to qualify for this year’s playoffs — and potentially even challenge for a championship.
Given 23XI Racing’s technical alliance with Joe Gibbs Racing, a move to the Denny Hamlin and Michael Jordan-owned team could also be a pathway to one of NASCAR’s top teams for van Gisbergen, should he perform well enough.
The issue with this is that 23XI Racing have both of their drivers under contract for next season, and they currently don’t have any official plans to run a third car full-time.
They do, however, have experience running three cars. In this year’s Daytona 500, Travis Pastrana piloted the No. 67 Toyota to a solid 11th place finish in his Cup Series debut, while former Formula 1 driver and current World Endurance Championship driver Kamui Kobayashi is set to suit up at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course in a few weeks.
Around a year ago, Hamlin joined Corey Lajoie’s Stacking Pennies podcast and discussed the possibility of 23XI fielding a third car on a full-time basis.
"“This is what we used to do back in the old days – I’m just gonna get him (sign Reddick) and I’ll figure out the details later. Would we love to expand? Absolutely. I think that’s something we would like to do. Does it make financial sense to us before we know what the model looks like? Probably not, but who knows where this deal goes.”"
While it may not make financial sense, the team do still have the funding to pull it off. The deep pockets and legendary reputation of Jordan, the brains of Hamlin, and the immense sponsorship the team possesses are nothing to take lightly.
The team have openly stated that they would give Kurt Busch a car for however many races he would like to run, should he be cleared to compete amid his continued concussion recovery. With that in mind, it’s clear that Hamlin and the team are willing to run three cars and have interest in doing so.
One race is a small sample size, but they have shown that they are capable of producing three very competitive packages. Should Kobayashi run well in his upcoming start, the interest of both 23XI Racing and van Gisbergen in this proposition would only rise.
With the Supercars star also set to compete in his second Cup Series race at the same time, this race could be used as a direct comparison for himself against the very car he could be driving next season.