“I Didn’t Trust This Team” – Michael Jordan’s Partnership With Denny Hamlin Outperforms Expectations in Kansas and Shuts Down Critics

Published 09/11/2023, 2:31 PM EDT

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What seemed to have been a day for Denny Hamlin and Joe Gibbs Racing finally blossomed into a fruitful venture for his star employee. A lot of murmurs have been paving their way through the alleys of NASCAR, that spoke of how the 23XI Racing team would again mess up their chance at playoff contention. However, when Reddick performed his valorous burnout after snatching the checkered flag, all those voices flickered away.

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Indeed, winning a race is not all about having the fastest car or displaying an all-day dominance over the tracks. It is about doing the right thing at the right time and that too, following a properly spread-out strategy. And at Kansas, Tyler Reddick did exactly what was needed for him to move on to the round of 12.

Denny Hamlin’s driver silenced all haters with his latest feat

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It is safe to say that the NASCAR community never looked at Michael Jordan & Denny Hamlin’s team as a major threat to the other teams in the playoff grid. However, after making a three-wide risky move past his boss, Tyler Reddick secured his first-ever win at Kansas Speedway and with that got his pass to the next round. Regardless of his performance at Bristol, Tyler Reddick will rev his Toyota at Texas Motor Speedway on September 24.

In one of his recent videos, a renowned reporter admitted that he was wrong about his predictions about the McDonald’s sponsored team. Jeff Gluck of The Athletic said, I didn’t trust this team to make it through the rounds without making mistakes. I thought they were going to take themselves out of it and they’re doing what they need to do. They’re executing.”

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At the very grassroots level, the race that holds the greatest importance is Championship 4. And to get to that coveted competition, one must survive without making mistakes. According to Jeff, Tyler too had the same mindset prior to Kansas. They had decided to take a collective step back and just get through the round.

Jeff exclaimed, “I was listening to them say that hey we’ll ramp it up in later rounds; I almost want to be like, are you sure? Because, they are doing it, right?”

Jordan Bianchi agreed. “Stay within yourself, don’t try to do too much,” he said. Bianchi reflected back to the time when Reddick had a loose tire incident in Michigan. “That’s the kind of things you don’t need,” said Bianchi. “Just do what you’re doing this is a perfect example of when you guys do this, you are as good as anybody out there.”

“The late restart there, the four-tire call. It all opened up for him,” added Jeff.

Watch this story: Michael Jordan’s NASCAR Team Announces Major NASCAR Step up With Addition of Former F1 Star & Le Man’s Winner

Tyler Reddick’s secret to winning, spilled moments after the race

As the #45 crossed the checkered flag, 23XI fans screamed at the top of their voice in a gala celebration. The winner let out a deafening sound from his car, wheeling against the tri-oval racetrack and burning out to utmost valor. He then struggled out of his car, climbed on top of it, and raised his fists into the air.

An NBC reporter took the chance to walk up to him and posed his curiosity about how Reddick was feeling after his strategic victory at Kansas.

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Tyler said, “Just an outstanding job by this whole 23XI team, we had really good pace, but just couldn’t get ahead of Denny there. But, chaos ensued, people stayed out, some took two tires and the bottom lane opened up pretty crazy!”

However, he perhaps owes to his crew chief, Billy Scott, who radioed Reddick to commit to the pit road during the last moments of the race to get his tires changed. Reddick smiled wide and said, “Four fresh tires and sitting in there and slide up. Hats off to everybody at 23XI.”

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Will the NASCAR fans get to see this marvelous performance seep into the tracks of Phoenix as well? “Well, I hope so,” said Reddick. “But I just think that we came here in the spring, I break the streak. I didn’t get the 45 back in the victory lane so I came back here motivated to get it back where it belongs.”

Fan Guide: What You Should Know Before Attending Kansas Speedway for NASCAR Cup and Truck Series Races

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Written by:

Soumyadeep Saha

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Soumyadeep is a NASCAR writer at EssentiallySports. He has done his Master's in English Literature and is a semi-professional bodybuilder. He has, in recent years, channelized his love and commitment for motorsports into a building career path.
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Edited by:

Ranvijay Singh

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