Michael Jordan & Denny Hamlin’s Truce in Naming Their NASCAR Team 23XI Racing

Published 11/17/2021, 11:07 AM EST
WATKINS GLEN, NEW YORK – AUGUST 08: NBA Hall of Famer Michael Jordan and co-owner of 23XI Racing looks on from the 23XI Racing pit box during the NASCAR Cup Series Go Bowling at The Glen at Watkins Glen International on August 08, 2021 in Watkins Glen, New York. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)


Michael Jordan and Denny Hamlin are two of the most well-known names in American sports. Both athletes have enjoyed a lot of success in their careers, although Jordan is arguably the greatest not just in NBA but in all the sports, in all the world. Anyway, when the two came together to form a new racing team in NASCAR, they named it 23XI Racing.

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But have you wondered why the name is what it is?

For starters, it’s quite obvious. 23 was the iconic jersey number of Michael Jordan in the NBA and 11 is the race car number with which Denny Hamlin has raced in his NASCAR career. Hamlin described how the two numbers ‘represent’ the two owners regardless of where their car is on the field.

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Yet, why is 23 written in numbers and 11 written in Roman numerals?

According to Joe Gibbs Racing driver Denny Hamlin, he didn’t want to disrespect his current team by taking the visual representation of their number onto his new venture.

“I also wanted to be respectful to Joe Gibbs Racing and not actually have, you know, the number 11 in the logo being that they have that number.” 

Michael Jordan & Denny Hamlin’s 23XI Racing are increasing in numbers

The first season of 23XI Racing with Bubba Wallace was like a normal first season for a new team. There were glimpses of brilliance in between, but the overarching feeling was still of a team in its infancy, finding its feet.

The biggest moment was certainly when Wallace won in Talladega, a historic result not just for him, or for his team but for the entire sport.

But the rest of the 2021 season was a mixed bag. Wallace finished thrice in the Top 5 and twice in the Top 10.

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TALLADEGA, ALABAMA – OCTOBER 04: Bubba Wallace, driver of the #23 McDonald’s Toyota, (R) and Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota, talk on the grid during a rain delay in the NASCAR Cup Series YellaWood 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on October 04, 2021 in Talladega, Alabama. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

For 2022, though, things could change quite drastically for Wallace and 23XI Racing. On a positive note.

The team are fielding another car in their second season, which will be driven by the mega-experienced and 2004 champion, Kurt Busch. The new driver is also reunited with his crew chief from SHR, Billy Scott who helped Busch in one of the best years of his career.

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23XI are also keeping Wallace’s crew chief Robert Barker, much to the driver’s delight.

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Shaharyar

483 articles

Shaharyar is a Formula 1 & NASCAR writer at EssentiallySports. A graduate in Journalism from Amity University, he has been a passionate follower of motorsports for better part of the decade. A Max Verstappen and Ferrari supporter, he dreams of a pairing of the two in future.

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