via Getty

via Getty

“Money makes the world go round”. This truth has been universal in every sense, and NASCAR is no exception. With the regular season of the Cup Series drawing to a close, it’s time for the teams and the manufacturers to tally their profits and lay the roadmap for the upcoming seasons.

Teams are reconsidering their positions in the paddock and taking a step further in the right direction, even if it means seizing old relationships and forging new ones. While a majority of the drivers and teams have already confirmed their stances for the next season, it seems that a few of them are yet to draw a conclusion. Among them lies the name of Michael Jordan and veteran driver Denny Hamlin’s team, 23XI Racing.

It’s been over a year since Kyle Busch made his exit from Joe Gibbs Racing after M&M reneged from the tracks of NASCAR and found his home at Richard Childress Racing. If the past instances are taken into account, it is apparent that MJ’s partner Denny Hamlin has been saddled in such situations both on the personal as well as the team 23XI Racing front.


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I intend to (stay) for sure”, MJ’s partner says, finding himself in the same shoe as Kyle Busch

The veteran driver, who has been associated with JGR since the beginning of his Cup Series career and has scored a total of 50 wins, is yet to sign a contract extending his stay with the team. Although Coach Gibbs and TRD President David Wilson have portrayed their intent to retain the driver, it has yet to materialize.

On this, Hamlin precisely made a statement, I intend to (stay), for sure.”

However, Hamlin, who is a free agent, revealed the roadblock, “It’s what I want. I think it’s what Joe wants. There’s just a lot of fine factors that are out of my and his hands. So, if I didn’t own a team, I think this would be done by now. There’s just a lot of different factors that play into it and whether we can get it done or not.”

Drawing from this fact, the contract that was forged between Michael Jordan and Denny Hamlin’s team and manufacturer Toyota is on the brink of expiration in the 2023 season. Moreover, any further developments are to take place regarding the extension of the deal. 

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The possible shift of allegiance for Michael Jordan’s team from a Japanese manufacturer to the Blue Oval

Owing to this fact, there have been speculations that 23XI Racing may shift its allegiance from the Japanese manufacturer, Toyota, to the Blue Oval manufacturer, Ford Performance, for the next season and beyond.

This inference was also asserted by NASCAR journalist Lee Spencer in her conversation with the hosts of PRN Live. Speaking on the relationship between 23XI Racing and Denny Hamlin with Toyota, Spencer revealed,Denny’s relationship [with Toyota] is through Joe Gibbs, I think that complicates the situation as well.” 

One of the hosts also revealed,There has been some word on the street that 23XI has potentially met with Ford.”

To this Spencer stated, “I heard that a meeting happened between Rod Moskowitz who is Denny’s lawyer and the Ford personnel in Michigan, heard from a couple of people and Michigan obviously be the best place to do that. All the manufacturer reps are at the track every week.”

Will SHR pave the way for Michael Jordan and Denny Hamlin’s 23 XI Racing team?


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The conjectures of Michael Jordan and Denny Hamlin’s NASCAR team seem plausible in nature owing to the positions of Stewart-Haas Racing drivers. With Kevin Harvick retiring from professional racing after the ongoing season and the rising possibility of Aric Almirola following the same suit as his primary sponsor, Tony Stewart’s team could be on the way out from Ford.

There is certainly no restriction on Michael Jordan and Denny Hamlin’s team seeking greener pastures for the development of the team and ceasing its partnership with JGR. Moreover, if SHR chooses to depart, 23XI Racing is likely to become an alluring offer for the manufacturer. The co-owner of the team intends to stay at JGR and Toyota.

In this light, Denny had asserted to Catchfence, We’re certainly very happy with Toyota. They’ve been great to me. They helped me get this team off the ground. I’ve won the bulk of my races with their cars, so I feel like it’s a partnership that should continue.”


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With that being said, it is to be seen whether the speculations eventuate or whether 23XI Racing maintains its partnership with JGR and Toyota and Denny Hamlin is able to conclude his racing career with Joe Gibbs Racing.

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