“He’s Just Excited” – Denny Hamlin Reveals Michael Jordan’s Involvement in NASCAR Team Ahead of Daytona 500

Published 02/06/2021, 8:30 AM EST
BRISTOL, TN – APRIL 06: Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Freight Toyota, prepares to drive during practice for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)


Back in 2020, the reveal of the 23XI Racing team came with a lot of attraction and buzz around it. Considering superstars Denny Hamlin and Michael Jordan are part of the ownership group, expectations were always going to be high.

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On paper, the NBA legend will take over majority team owner duties, with Hamlin in a minor owner role advising the direction of the outfit. Together, the idea is to elevate the 23XI Racing brand in the Cup Series in the shortest span of time possible.

In a recent press conference, Hamlin got to talking about his interactions with Jordan. He revealed that Jordan’s group has given ‘lot of autonomy’ to his team to make the important racing decisions.

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Denny Hamlin is regularly speaking to Michael Jordan

Hamlin stated, “I would say that, you know, we’ve talked more in the last couple of weeks. But, you know he’s just excited.”

PARIS, FRANCE – JUNE 12: In this handout image provided by Jordan Brand, Michael Jordan paid a visit to Palais 23 this afternoon on Friday June 12, Joined by his frequent partners-in-design Tinker Hatfield and Mark Smith, key figures in the 30-year evolution of the Air Jordan, Jordan has returned to Paris to mark the 30th anniversary of 1985’s Air Jordan One. Palais 23 is a spectacular tribute to the shoes, moments, designs and artifacts that have shaped the 30-year evolution of the Air Jordan. (Photo by Jordan Brand via Getty Images)9

A few weeks back, the reigning Daytona 500 winner had made a trip to 23XI Racing’s team workshop site to check on the car’s progress. We now also know that the No.23 Toyota Camry is ready and set to make an appearance in the ‘Great American Race’.

“But the involvement on the race team, he’s got a great team of people that I work with. And really gives us a lot of autonomy to make sure that we’re doing stuff the way that we see fit. So, it’s working well,” concluded Hamlin.

Bubba Wallace and Hamlin will go head-to-head in the Daytona 500

The race will be interesting for the Joe Gibbs Racing driver for a couple of reasons. One, he will bid to win three consecutive Daytona 500 crowns, and two, he will witness his own team’s car in action on the track for the first time.

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LOUDON, NH – JULY 21: Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Freight Toyota, stands in the garage area during practice for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Foxwoods Resort Casino 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

That said, Hamlin’s attention will be invested on strategizing to win the Daytona 500 yet again. Following a failure at the last hurdle in 2020, he will be desperate to make a statement as a genuine title contender this year.

But at the same time, he would also take pride in any good results that 23XI Racing also achieves. Overall, as the season gets underway soon, both entities will head into the new campaign with hope and optimism.

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MORE – Bubba Wallace Believes 23XI Racing Could be His ‘One and Last’ Shot to Prove Himself in NASCAR

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Bhargav Gopal

927 articles

Hailing from Bengaluru, Bhargav is an F1 and NASCAR author for EssentiallySports. He is a huge fan of Max Verstappen and Red Bull Racing. Bhargav also has an MBA in Sports Management from the Symbiosis School of Sports Sciences, Pune.

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