Today 23XI Racing announced competition updates and its crew chief lineup for the 2022 season. Bootie Barker will continue with Bubba Wallace, moving from interim to full-time crew chief of the No. 23 Toyota Camry TRD, and Billy Scott joins the team as the crew chief of the No. 45 Toyota Camry TRD with Kurt Busch. As the team quickly adapts to the Next Gen car and continues to build a top-tier organization, both Barker and Scott will also manage areas across the entire 23XI organization, helping to build processes and strengthen the team. Barker will remain as the organization’s Senior Setup Engineer, while Scott will be 23XI Racing’s Senior Race Engineer.
A veteran of the sport, Barker moved into the crew chief role with Wallace at Bristol Motor Speedway on September 18, 2021. Since the duo teamed up, Wallace made history with his first-career win at Talladega Superspeedway, and in just eight starts together, the pair earned five top-20 finishes.
“Bootie and I clicked from the start,” said Wallace. “He’s been a great addition to the No. 23 team and in just the short time he’s been the crew chief, he’s helped me on and off the track to be better every time I get in the car. To get the win together at Talladega, the first win for both of us, was really special. I’m excited to continue to build this team with Bootie and to see what we can accomplish together next season. I’m pumped to get the year started at the LA Coliseum and then head to Daytona for the Daytona 500.”
Crew Chief Billy Scott has been hired to lead the No. 45 Toyota Camry TRD team with Cup Series Champion Kurt Busch. The hiring reunites Scott and Busch who were partnered together in 2018 and won one race (Bristol) and earned six top-five finishes and 22 top-10 finishes together. Throughout his career, Scott has worked with multiple drivers including Clint Bowyer, Danica Patrick and Daniel Suarez. Most recently, Scott served as the Head of Race Engineering for Richard Childress Racing.
“The chemistry Billy and I had together a few years back at SHR (Stewart Haas Racing) was strong,” said Busch. “We raced smart and built solid consistency with each other. That showed with the results and the fun the team had together. Winning races is what it’s all about and our past experiences will help build the future at 23XI.”
In addition to Barker and Scott, 23XI has bolstered its competition staff as the team evolves into a two-car NASCAR Cup Series organization. The additional hires will work across the organization assisting both 23XI entries to provide consistent car assembly, setups, and strategies. Key hires include:
- David Bryant – No. 45 Car Chief – Bryant joins 23XI from Chip Ganassi Racing.
- Etienne Cliche – No 23 Race Engineer – Cliche is a current 23XI employee and will continue his role on the No. 23 team.
- Mike Lorusso – Director, Race Team Operation – Lorusso joins 23XI from Joe Gibbs Racing.
- Zach Marquardt – No. 23 Car Chief – Marquardt joins 23XI from Roush Fenway Racing.
- Julian Pena – No. 45 Race Engineer – Pena is a current 23XI employee who will transition to the No. 45 team.
- Dave Rogers – Performance Director – Rogers joins 23XI from Joe Gibbs Racing.
- Steve Wolfe – Assembly Manager – Wolfe joins 23XI from Chip Ganassi Racing.
“As we grow and move into our second year, it is important for us to continue building our competition team, and hiring the right people to take us to the next level,” said 23XI Racing President Steve Lauletta. “With Kurt coming on board to join Bubba, new partners joining us, and now hiring some of the best in the business, all of the pieces are falling into place and it makes all of us excited to get to the track and continue building on our first year.”
23XI Racing will return to the track for the Busch Light Clash at the LA Coliseum on Sunday, February 6, 2022, followed by the Daytona 500 on Sunday, February 20, 2022.