Denny Hamlin Says His Mom “Felt a Lot Better” That He Teamed Up With Michael Jordan to Form NASCAR Team

Published 05/08/2021, 8:45 AM EDT
MARTINSVILLE, VIRGINIA – OCTOBER 26: Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Freight Toyota, stands on the grid during qualifying for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series First Data 500 at Martinsville Speedway in Martinsville, Virginia. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

NASCAR racing will garner a bit more attention this weekend, and not just due to the throwback weekend at Darlington; this Sunday’s Cup Series race will take place on Mother’s Day. Ahead of the special occasion, Denny Hamlin spoke about his mother’s impact on his racing career over the years.


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2021 is a rather special year for Hamlin as he became the co-owner of a NASCAR team, along with continuing his run as a top-level driver fighting for the title. He co-owns that team with none other than NBA great Michael Jordan.

DAYTONA BEACH, FLORIDA – FEBRUARY 17: Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Cup Series 62nd Annual Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Speaking about his mom’s contribution in making him who he is today, Denny was asked about Mary Lou Hamlin’s reaction when he told her about his decision to form a NASCAR team.


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Denny Hamlin reveals his parents’ reaction to forming NASCAR team with Michael Jordan

While she was definitely excited to hear about his new project, Hamlin revealed that his mom was happier that he was teaming up with Jordan.

“I think she probably felt a lot better that I was teaming up with Michael (Jordan) than trying to do this thing on my own. That was a big part of it,” Hamlin said during a recent media interaction.

On the other hand, Denny’s father was the one who had a few reservations as he just wanted to be sure about the big responsibility his son was about to take.

“The most push-back probably came from my dad, because he wrote most of those checks back in the day. He was like, ‘Are you sure you can do this?’ So I’m still not sure but I’m going for it,” the 40-year-old driver expressed.

“So proud of him,” says Mary Lou Hamlin

Meanwhile, Mary Lou Hamlin reflected on her son’s growth as a sportsman and as a person. She is happy to see Denny working so hard and making the most of every decision.

I don’t think I had to give him any advice…When he went to school, he wasn’t the best studied, he didn’t study, he didn’t like to study, he didn’t like to do his homework and all that.


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“But to see him now, he does his homework on everything, he makes good decisions, he studies things, and it just amazes me that he has gotten this far. So proud of him,” she expressed.

Apr 10, 2021; Martinsville, Virginia, USA; NASCAR Cup Series driver Denny Hamlin (11) races at the Blue-Emu Maximum Pain Relief 500 at Martinsville Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Ryan Hunt-USA TODAY Sports

Hamlin will run the Mother’s Day race in a throwback scheme honoring Julius ‘Slick’ Johnson. Hamlin has been the most consistent driver all year, but the win still eludes him. He will hope to correct that on Sunday in the Goodyear 400.


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Aayush Majumdar

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Aayush Majumdar is a NASCAR content strategist, a Tennis Writer, and a sports analyst at EssentiallySports. He is well-tenured as a tennis and NASCAR writer, with over 900 articles across both sports. After pursuing a Post Graduate program in Sports Management, Aayush explored various roles in Sports Media, including a Sports Reporting role at a leading English daily.