All the details are slowly falling in place for Denny Hamlin and Michael Jordan’s new NASCAR team. Bubba Wallace will drive the No. 23, red and white Toyota for 23XI Racing next year. Just moments after Hamlin and Wallace released the look of the car, Hamlin revealed that Mike Wheeler will be the Crew Chief for Wallace’s team.
Hamlin also said that the new team will operate out of Germain Racing’s office for the next season. Germain is set to leave NASCAR at the end of the season. This is just a temporary arrangement for 23XI Racing, as they will work on more permanent options through the 2021 season.
The new 2️⃣3️⃣ pic.twitter.com/wdOpWxDaSh
— 23XI Racing (@23XIRacing) October 30, 2020
Other specifics about 23XI Racing
Additionally, the cars will come from Joe Gibbs Racing along with Toyota engines. The Joe Gibbs Racing tie-up was always expected because of Hamlin’s association and was made official on Friday. JGR will have resources at their disposal after affiliate Leavine Family Racing will vacate their cars after this season.
There is no confirmation yet on whether the cars for Wallace will come from the No. 95 team at Leavine.
The sponsorship for the 23 team was not announced, but Hamlin said they expect a primary sponsor on board for at least 20 races next year.
Hamlin’s tryst with Toyota
Speaking about Toyota’s involvement, Hamlin admitted he had no doubts over who he wanted the manufacturer for his team to be.
“I know how they support their teams. And when I decided to move to team ownership, I knew that I wanted Toyota to be alongside our team.
“Toyota supports my vision with this team and will be integrated with our team members to support us as we grow and strive to achieve race wins and championships,” Hamlin said.
Bubba Wallace lands an experienced Crew Chief
Coming to the Crew Chief, Wheeler will have a sort of reunion with Hamlin. Wheeler was Hamlin’s Crew Chief for a few races in 2014, and then full seasons from 2016 to 18. The two split after the 2018 season and Wheeler moved to Leavine Family Racing in 2019.
He was Matt DiBenedetto’s Crew Chief for a year and then the competition director for the current season.
Wallace will make his debut with 23XI Racing at the iconic Daytona 500 next year. Until then, the few remaining details about the team will also be revealed soon.