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Michael Jordan’s 23XI Racing Taps Esports Star to Help the Team

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Picture of Brian McLaughlin

Brian McLaughlin

McLaughlin is a veteran sports writer who has covered 4 Daytona 500s. He loves the sport and is pumped to be with The Daily Downforce. Follow on Twitter @BrianMacWriter.
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A unique hire was made by 23XI Racing, when the Michael Jordan and Denny Hamlin owned NASCAR team hired iRacing star Keegan Leahy to be a consultant, based on his talents.

WHAT’S HAPPENING?

Every little bit helps in a sport where a 0.002 of a second once actually determined a NASCAR race winner. People who don’t quite understand why 23XI Racing just hired an eNASCAR driver as a consultant may not realize how incredibly realistic iRacing is these days.

That’s why 23XI, co-owned by basketball legend Michael Jordan and current NASCAR Cup Series star Denny Hamlin, has hired Keegan Leahy. Leahy won the iRacing Series championship in 2021 and has a college degree in physics — and physics knowledge never hurts when it comes to figuring out how to squeeze just a little more oomph out of a stock car.

  • The hire of Keegan Leahy was done in hopes of helping Tyler Reddick and Bubba Wallace’s full-time NASCAR Cup Series teams.
  • Leahy is one of the most respected members of the “sim” racing community, which has been a big deal for many years but exploded during the pandemic in 2020, thanks to the ability to still compete remotely.
  • Are race fans cynical about such a move, or do they think it’s a cutting-edge idea? The answer to that may surprise readers (see below).

IN THE STANDS:

Two Reddit posters had some fun with the 23XI news:

SuperSans on Reddit made a good point about the new hire’s background:

SSPeteCarroll knows iRacing:

Gave_Dillis certainly is happy that a fellow Canadian is making a big name for himself and his country

So while it may have seemed a tad unusual that this news broke this week, once you really dig into it you can see the value in the hire. The iRacing movement gets bigger every year, and there is a serious skill set involved with it.

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Picture of Brian McLaughlin

Brian McLaughlin

McLaughlin is a veteran sports writer who has covered 4 Daytona 500s. He loves the sport and is pumped to be with The Daily Downforce. Follow on Twitter @BrianMacWriter.
All Posts