“Denny Is Certainly Brainstorming” – Dale Earnhardt Jr Believes the 23XI Racing Co-owner Has Contingency Plan in Place

Published 08/17/2023, 2:11 PM EDT

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With every turn in the wheel, the fate of NASCAR drivers seems to be undergoing huge alterations. What seemed like a match made in heaven could easily come down to shambles. If one nods his head in disbelief, then one can rewind back to the last season when Kyle Busch was on the verge of losing his place in the Cup Series, as he failed to secure a sponsorship after M&M retracted from the Cup Series and was forced to leave his team for 15 years.

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Given the current circumstances within the camp of Joe Gibbs Racing, it seems another fellow driver and former teammate of Kyle Busch is on the brink of reliving the same past. The situation for Denny Hamlin certainly looks bleak at present as uncertainty over his future at JGR looms. However, Dale Earnhardt Jr believes that the No.11 Toyota driver could change the tidings.

Dale Earnhardt Jr and his co-host uphold the hopes for Denny Hamlin

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The silly season of NASCAR seemed to be a dreaded time, as the fates of the drivers seem to be decided within a span of a few months. While many turn out to be fortunate as they are able to retain their seat for the next season and prioritize and chisel their skills, others also seemed to be stuck in a state of ambivalence as the teams and the sponsors weigh their options in the NASCAR paddock.

Having said that it is apparent that Joe Gibbs Racing star driver and NASCAR veteran Denny Hamlin seems to be snarled in this uncertainty, as the driver is yet to ink his extension of contract with his team of 19 years. The driver had asserted that nothing has changed within the team and that it was a part of a standard protocol. However, Dale Earnhardt Jr and his co-host Mike Davis appeared to be optimistic that Hamlin might have a backup plan if circumstances seem to go south.

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In the latest episode of Dale Jr Download, co-host Mike Davis expressed, “My theory usually is when these things are delayed, these things usually move at the speed of the sponsorships. Not to say that they are looking for money I am not insinuating that for money but that’s the cog in the wheel. But it’s interesting if that’s the case that would have been the same scenario that Kyle Busch was in, they lacked the funding, the sponsorship hold up and that did not end well.

“That had Kyle Busch going to a different race team. So, would Denny leave JGR to go to his race team, I haven’t considered that, it’s certainly interesting. He certainly has options,” Davis asserted.

Continuing on the same context, Junior added, “He needs a charter, that’s probably the biggest hurdle. If there was one to be had, man I think he could have considered it, maybe he is already considering it, who knows? Denny is brainstorming.”

While Dale Jr doubts alternate plans in place for Hamlin, TRD President David Wilson remains optimistic about the situation.

TRD President David Wilson raises hopes over Denny Hamlin’s uncertain future

While scenarios seemed to be in a distressing position for Denny Hamlin, Toyota Racing Development’s President David Wilson seemed to have instilled some hope in the driver. He expressed, He will be back. There’s no question in our mind, there’s no question in Joe’s [Gibbs] mind.”

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We’re working through some details. And it’s a complicated consideration because now he’s not just a driver for Joe Gibbs Racing, he’s also a team owner. And given that there has to be alignment for Toyota and Denny across both those considerations, just have some stuff that we’re working on, but we’ll get them sorted out,”

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Wilson continued, “We still intend. I know Denny has always wanted to and intends to retire as a driver from Joe Gibbs Racing and continue as a team owner with Toyota. That’s certainly our intent, and we’re working very vigorously to make sure that, in fact, happens”.

Watch this Story: Danica Patrick and Denny Hamlin “Married Couple” Fight At Daytona 500

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It is to be seen how the incidents unfold and whether Toyota and JGR are able to keep up to the promises or if Hamlin meets the same fate as Kyle Busch. What do you think will happen? Let us know in the comments below.

 

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Written by:

Ayantika Maitra

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Ayantika Maitra is a NASCAR Writer at EssentiallySports. It was initially Formula 1 that made her fall in love with the world of motorsports. But quickly, the raw and unfiltered nature of NASCAR is what led her to build an affinity for the Stock Car Racing Series.
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Edited by:

Priyank Mithani

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