23XI Racing will attempt NASCAR history this weekend at Kansas Speedway with the No. 45 Toyota.
Kurt Busch and Bubba Wallace swept the NASCAR Cup Series races in Kansas last season, and both were driving the No. 45 when they won. Tyler Reddick will drive the car Sunday afternoon (3 p.m. ET, FS1) as he tries to win the team its third consecutive race at the track.
No car number has won three consecutive races at a racetrack with three different drivers.
“It would be really cool, but all that aside, it’s about coming in here and putting together a good weekend and executing,” Reddick said. “Both cars and both teams, this whole organization is really, really excited and really wants to see what we’ve got a couple of months removed from the last time we were here.
“Everyone comes in with a lot of confidence, and we need to capitalize on that and get the weekend started on the right foot in practice and qualify well. But certainly, it would be really cool to do that. I know we’ll both be out there giving it everything we’ve got, so as long as one of us gets it done, it’s fine by me.”
Busch won the spring race at Kansas Speedway. Wallace is the most recent winner, capturing his second career win in the series in September. In both races, the No. 45 was one of the fastest in the field.
“It was massive for the team,” Wallace said of his triumph. “The win last year was big for the team, and to complete the sweep was really cool. I thought the 23 car was pretty solid there in the first race, too, and had some troubles that took us out of contention, but to come back and seal the deal in the 45 was just special for our team and being so new. That was our second year, and (we made) the most of it.
“I’m assuming when they all started this, they didn’t really plan on sweeping Kansas races in the second year going. So, I’m just proud to be a part of the process and coming back here, I think all the momentum is on our side.”
Wallace drove the No. 45 in the second Kansas race because Busch had been sidelined in the summer with a concussion. Because Busch’s car was still in the owner championship hunt, 23XI Racing made the decision to put Wallace behind the wheel in its hunt for owner points.
Thoughts of winning aside, Wallace and Reddick are optimistic and eager about the weekend ahead. Kansas is a fast intermediate facility that will make it clear where an organization stands.
“I think it’s going to be exciting,” said Wallace. “Obviously, it feels really good to get back here to Kansas and get back to what we did in the fall. … I’ve seen some talks that Toyota is the top of the topic heading into the weekend, so it’s good. We’re on track to get our ship righted in the right way, so it all starts here.”
Wallace has not had a top-10 finish since Martinsville Speedway three weeks ago. He has two top-10 finishes through 11 races.
Reddick has five top-10 finishes, including a win. Reddick started on the front row in both Kansas Speedway races last year and led laps in both races but finished no better than 30th in those events.
“This is a track that I had a lot of speed last year in both events but couldn’t quite put the whole race together,” Reddick said. “The second race went out with a bang for us (crashing from the pole). But really excited to get back here, obviously.
“I had to race against 23XI last year here, and it was really cool to see all the speed they had and knowing I was going to be going there at some point, and now that we’re here I’m really excited to see what we have in practice in a few hours. It’s going to be a little warmer, but I think that should help us even more.”