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In last year’s breakout season for 23XI Racing—the organization co-owned by Denny Hamlin and NBA Hall of Famer Michael Jordan—Kurt Busch won the spring race at Kansas, and teammate Bubba Wallace followed with a victory in the fall.
Tyler Reddick has replaced Busch in the No. 45 23XI Toyota this season and already has a win to his credit, on the road course at Circuit of the Americas. Reddick’s performance on ovals, however, has been spotty, contributing to an average finish of 14.5 overall.
For Wallace, the season has been a nightmare so far. His DNFs (did not finish results) outnumber his top fives (one) and top 10s (two), and the average finish of the driver of the No. 23 Toyota sits at 19.5.
Hence, steer clear of the 23XI drivers, whose winning streak will end in Sunday’s AdventHealth 400.
Our pick for last Sunday’s Wurth 400 didn’t last long at the Monster Mile. On Lap 80 of 400, Kyle Larson’s No. 5 Chevrolet was wiped out in a crash, not of his making, and the pre-race favorite limped home with a 32nd-place finish.
Nevertheless, we’re confident in Larson’s ability to rebound. After all, the California driver has posted six top 10s in his last eight Kansas starts, including a victory in the 2021 Playoff race.
That win helped to propel him to the NASCAR Cup Series championship.
As was the case last week, Larson is the heavy favorite to win the AdventHealth 400, offered at +500 via DraftKings Sportsbook.
We concur, and we’re backing Larson on Sunday as he seeks his third victory of the season in the 400-mile race.
Early in his career, Kyle Busch considered Kansas Speedway a jinx track—and for good reason.
In his first 14 starts at Kansas, Busch finished in the top 10 only twice and in the top five not at all. But his luck began to turn late in 2014.
Starting with the fall race of that season, Busch posted five straight top fives, a run that included his first win at the track in the spring of 2016.
In his last 16 Kansas starts, Busch has finished on the lead lap all but three times, and he picked up his second victory at the 1.5-mile speedway in 2021.
Consider also that Busch’s fortunes have changed for the better since his move from Joe Gibbs Racing to Richard Childress Racing to start the 2023 season.
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Award-winning motorsports writer Reid Spencer has served as lead writer for the NASCAR Wire Service for 16 years, having also spent a four-year stint as NASCAR columnist and beat writer for Sporting News. He is currently serving as president of the National Motorsports Press Association. Email: [email protected]More info on Reid Spencer
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