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“Mere Formality” – Denny Hamlin Opens up on Discussions With Bubba Wallace and Michael Jordan for No. 23

“Mere Formality” – Denny Hamlin Opens up on Discussions With Bubba Wallace and Michael Jordan for No. 23

The announcement of the car number that Bubba Wallace will drive for the Denny Hamlin-Michael Jordan team, aka 23X1 Racing, was very much on expected lines. Denny Hamlin revealed that there’s not much debate in the first place around Wallace ending up in the No. 23 car next year.

The team revealed its name, logo, and car number on Thursday. The numbers of both Jordan and Hamlin are incorporated in the name and logo. The opportunity to be associated with the number 23, which Jordan made iconic in his time in the NBA, was something Hamlin and Wallace would not let go of.

Hamlin called it a ‘mere formality’ when asked if there were any discussions about the car number.

There hasn’t been. To us, it was a mere formality on that sense. We hadn’t talked about it, for any other number,” Hamlin said during a media interaction.

Bubba Wallace in action in NASCAR Cup Series
Sep 27, 2020; Las Vegas, Nevada, USA; NASCAR Cup Series driver Jimmie Johnson (48) races for position along side driver Bubba Wallace (43) during the South Point 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports | Reuters

Denny Hamlin “just assumed” what the number would be

The Joe Gibbs Racing driver said he did have conversations with Jordan and Wallace before announcing the number, but it always ‘made most sense’.

I just assumed that that’s what he would want. But obviously, there were conversations with him and myself and Bubba. And it just made the most sense for sure.”

While selecting the number was pretty straightforward, Hamlin said there were a lot of ideas floating around before finalizing the name and logo. “We just kicked around a lot of ideas and names, and logos, things like that. Some that were way out of the box, some that were directly in the box,” Hamlin expressed.

Chase Elliott and Denny Hamlin during the NASCAR Cup Series race at the Charlotte Roval
Oct 11, 2020; Concord, North Carolina, USA; NASCAR Cup Series driver Denny Hamlin (11) leads the field during the Bank of America ROVAL 400 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

When will the team reveal other details?

Other major details are yet to be confirmed, including the manufacturer partner, Wallace’s Crew Chief, as well as some key positions within the team. While an announcement remains, Hamlin said most decisions have already been made.

We’ve got most of all that done. We should have an announcement for that coming early, early next week,” Hamlin revealed.

It is widely expected that Toyota will come on board as the manufacturer. Hamlin’s relationship with Joe Gibbs Racing aided those discussions. Earlier, the team’s owner, Joe Gibbs, himself said he sees Wallace driving a Toyota in 2021.

Read more – Bubba Wallace Reacts to News of Erik Jones Joining Richard Petty Motorsports

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