“My Interest Would Be to Own It”- Denny Hamlin Aspires Joining Tony Stewart-Led Elite Club After Dale Jr’s Approval

Published 09/24/2023, 9:37 AM EDT

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After a rather dramatic win in Bristol, lauding this as his #11 team’s year, Denny Hamlin just revealed more about his future ambitions. The Joe Gibbs Racing veteran and Michael Jordan’s 23XI Racing partner mentioned his desire to join the likes of Tony Stewart as a proud owner.

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In fact, when Hamlin opened up about his aspiration, one that he kept from his racing years as a teenager, the JRM co-owner backed him up. The plot thickens even further as the veteran shares how NASCAR’s most popular driver, Dale Earnhardt Jr., is all in on his idea, even to the extent that the 48-year-old had another brilliant idea already in place for him.

Denny Hamlin gets a pat on the back from Dale Earnhardt Jr.

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Now, being a prominent driver in one of the most recognized racing series is itself a dream come true for many. But for veterans of the sport like Denny Hamlin and Tony Stewart, who have racing in their blood and imprinted on their brains, it’s not so. Their never-ending passion for the sport has no limits.

And ardent NASCAR fans can relate to this. Looking at the great 3-time Cup Series champion, Tony Stewart’s post-NASCAR career, you’ll realize this. Besides being a busy NASCAR and NHRA team owner, Stewart is also the brain behind Superstar Racing Experience (SRX). Even that hasn’t put a stop to the 51-year-old’s aspiration; his love for dirt racing got him to own his own race track, Eldora Speedway, a half-mile dirt clay track located north of Ohio.

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It looks like Denny Hamlin is heading in that direction as well. Recently, the JGR veteran speaking to NBC revealed his desire to own a Virginia facility, one where he grew up racing. What is causing all the rumbling, you ask? Well, Chesterfield County a couple of days ago issued a statement seeking proposals to return racing to its Southside Speedway.

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And guess what? Denny Hamlin jumped right in. While meeting the track officials a while back, the No. 11 was told that the ownership would remain the same, but the authorities were looking for someone to manage the events and return the crowd back to the track. This wasn’t on his agenda; rather, he was looking to own the track for himself.

Denny said, “My interest would be to own it,” the driver said when asked Saturday by NBC Sports about his interest in the track. “I would love to run it, but I would love to run something that I owned. We would have to work around that for sure. The county does own it, but if I’m going to put a bunch of time and effort and all that, I would like to have some stake in the facility.” 

WATCH THIS STORY: Days after shocking $40 million sale, Denny Hamlin spills the beans on Michael Jordan’s NASCAR team’s expansion

While there is a considerable amount of work to be done on the track, with the facility needing new pavement and renovated buildings, Denny Hamlin also revealed he had Dale Jr.’s backing if he were to go ahead. “We need ‘X’ amount of money to redo this track, really upgrade the facilities, make it super nice.’ I know Dale (Earnhardt) Jr. said ‘Listen, you do it, I’ll bring the Cars Tour there twice a year.’ There’s a lot of opportunity and certainly that’s something the county or the state would really see interest from,” said the veteran.

Hamlin opens up about his admiration for Deion Sanders

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NFL and NASCAR might be two different sports with contrasting dynamics, but both require an iron will and a gritty self to be at the top. Following his monumental Bristol short track, Hamlin proudly embraced his inner villain as he rubbed off the hostile crowd that rained boos on him.

“I beat your favorite driver,” said Denny Hamlin as stood there in the victory lane, mentioning how he edged out his friend Kyle Larson to wield the sword. In the wake of the recent development and Hamlin embracing his dark side, Motorsports.com got an exclusive with the driver where he revealed his admiration towards Sanders and the mindset he has towards his craft.

Denny Hamlin Hopes to Rekindle Childhood Romance; Covets Dale Earnhardt Jr’s Support

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“After your Bristol win, you said fans are welcome to join the ‘dark side.’ What is Denny Hamlin, the ‘dark side’?” asked the interviewer to which Hamlin gave an elaborate answer until he opened up about his admiration towards the football coach.

Like a Deion Sanders, I resonate with his words. Now, he rubs a lot of people the wrong way because he’s brash and he’s confident,” said the driver. Furthermore, he mentioned what Sanders is doing right, “But I’m brash and I’m confident, too, and I like that. Like my girlfriend Jordan, she’s like, ‘Ugh, Deion.’ And I’m like, ‘What are you talking about? This guy’s great. Look what he’s doing. Forget his words. Look at what he’s doing. He’s motivating young men. He’s finding talent where no one else is looking.” 

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Written by:

Kishore R

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Kishore is a NASCAR Writer at EssentiallySports. With a degree in engineering, Kishore's love for automobiles, particularly the roaring naturally-aspirated V8s, naturally led him to NASCAR. Kishore's writing is characterized by his intense passion for the sport, as well as his ability to conduct in-depth research and analysis.
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Edited by:

Shivali Nathta

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