Kurt Busch wins NASCAR race at Kansas in Jordan-inspired car originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago
Michael Jordan is known for dominating in May, when the NBA playoffs start to intensify. Well he's still doing that, just in a different setting.
Kurt Busch, driving a Jordan Brand-sponsored Toyota for Jordan's 23XI Racing, won the NASCAR Cup Series race at Kansas Speedway on Sunday.
Busch's car was inspired by the Air Jordan III Black Cement elephant print. It was the first time that Jordan's company sponsored one of his race cars after his team began operations in 2021.
The win was in doubt throughout the afternoon, with Busch trailing his brother Kyle Busch and race leader Kyle Larson in the closing laps. Kurt got around Kyle with 21 laps to go, and then set his sights on the defending series champion. Stalking his prey, the elder Busch brother made a move past Larson exiting turn two with just eight laps to go. From there, the No. 45 Jordan car cruised to the win.
Busch, 43, is no stranger to victory lane. He now has 34 career wins, including at least one in nine straight seasons, and one championship in 2004. This is his first season driving for 23XI Racing after his former team, Chip Ganassi Racing, was sold following the 2021 season.
23XI Racing -- which is co-owned by Jordan and Denny Hamlin (who finished fourth at Kansas) -- has two victories in two seasons at the Cup level. Bubba Wallace, driving the No. 23, won the team's first race last October at Talladega Superspeedway. Wallace finished 10th at Kansas.
Busch struggled in the early parts of the 2022 season, finishing worse than 15th in four straight races before Sunday's triumph. Now, he's locked up a spot in the NASCAR playoffs.
Jordan Brand is scheduled to sponsor Busch in multiple races this season, so we'll have to see which design they bring to the track next time.