Denny Hamlin

Denny Hamlin Net Worth 2024, Family, Controversies, and More

Denny Hamlin is a stock car racing driver and team owner who has been competing in the NASCAR Cup Series for Joe Gibbs Racing since 2005. His first-ever race was at the Kansas Speedway, where he finished P32. The driver has amassed 51 wins in NASCAR's top faction so far. One of his most notable achievements has been three Daytona 500 wins in 2016, 2019, and 2020. Hamlin was also named as one of NASCAR's 75 Greatest Drivers in 2023. Besides his racing stint, he has also been the team owner of Cup Series team 23XI Racing since 2020, alongside NBA legend Michael Jordan.

Denny Hamlin's family

Denny Hamlin was born to Dennis Hamlin and Mary Lou Clark on November 18, 1980, at the St. Joseph's Women's Hospital in Tampa, Florida. He has two older siblings, Kevin and Lisa Hamlin. The family decided to move to Virginia when he was only 2 years old. He was educated at Manchester High School in Chesterfield County, Virginia.

The family might not have been the most financially stable one, but Denny's parents' struggles to get him going in motorsports have definitely paid dividends. At the age of seven, Denny Hamlin made his go-kart debut and went on to win his first race. Before Joe Gibbs Racing took notice of him in 2004, he made rapid progress at the local tracks in Richmond, Virginia, dominating the Late Model Stock Cars, Grand Stocks, and Mini Stocks. He was signed to a driver development contract by JGR in 2004, and he took part in five Truck Series races that year before appearing in the Cup as a part-time driver in 2005.

Denny Hamlin's wife and children

The motorsports veteran has two daughters, Taylor James Hamlin (born January 20, 2013), and Molly Gold Hamlin (born August 15, 2017), with Jordan Fish. Denny and Jordan are not married, and over the years, they have shared a rather complex relationship. While the couple had broken up in 2021, there were rumors of reconciliation doing the rounds.

The two were spotted together at the 2023 NASCAR Awards Banquet, and Hamlin even spent Jordan Fish's birthday with her in 2023. The couple got engaged on January 1, 2024, after Denny Hamlin went down on one knee.

via Imago

Denny Hamlin's net worth 2024

As he is one of the veterans in the Cup Series today driving for one of the biggest teams, Denny Hamlin is one of the highest-paid drivers in the competition today. He also makes a fair sum from being a co-owner of 23XI Racing and through his sponsorships. From his on-track and off-track successes, Hamlin has managed to build a net worth of approximately $65 million.

Denny Hamlin has had FedEx as his primary sponsor since he started racing in the Cup Series. Joe Gibbs Racing was also able to bring in the big names like Coca-Cola and Mavis Tyres & Brakes.

Denny Hamlin's career timeline

NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series

Before Denny Hamlin made his debut in the NASCAR Cup Series, he was a regular face in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. Making his debut at the TSport 200 at Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park in 2004 for EJP Racing, the driver managed to finish P10. He competed in four more Truck Series races that same year but failed to clinch a Top-10. Hamlin ultimately finished the season with 582 points, ranked 37th.

After skipping the promotion in 2005, he returned the following year with Morgan-Dollar Motorsports and competed in a single race at Martinsville Speedway where he finished P8. That was his only race with the team. Over the next four years, Hamlin continued participating in single races each season for Billy Ballew Motorsports. His highest finish with the team came in 2008 when he clinched P3 at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

However, the highest finish of his Truck Series career would not come until 2011 when he clinched a victory at the United Rentals 200 at the Martinsville Speedway, for Kyle Busch Motorsports, a race which Hamlin won again the next year. After spending three seasons with KBM, the driver's last Truck race came in 2013 when he competed in the 2013 Kroger 200 at Martinsville, finishing P6.

USA Today via Reuters

ARCA Menards Series

Denny Hamlin had a short stint at the ARCA Menards Series where he ran only one race each in 2004 and 2005. In his first year at ARCA, Hamlin was seen piloting the #10 Pontiac for Fast Track Racing Enterprises, at the General Tire 200 race at Talladega Superspeedway, where he finished third. However, 2005 didn't prove to be a good year for him as the driver finished P36, driving a #2 Pontiac at the Nashville ARCA 150 at the Nashville Superspeedway for Joe Gibbs Racing.

Denny Hamlin's journey to the NASCAR Xfinity and Cup Series 

It's like Denny Hamlin was announcing his arrival to the world in 2004 when he decided to compete in different promotions across the roster. Besides his Truck and Arca debut in 2004, the driver also participated in his first-ever Xfinity Series race for Joe Gibbs Racing that same year at the Darlington Raceway, finishing eighth.

In an Xfinity career spanning 19 years, Hamlin has participated in 163 races and clinched a victory on 18 occasions. The driver also flaunts 101 Top-10 finishes in the promotion.

However, Hamlin's ultimate calling came in 2005 when he debuted in the NASCAR Cup Series for Joe Gibbs Racing. The driver has remained with the team for the entirety of his Cup career driving the #11. Revealing how the team became a stepping-stone for his illustrious career, Hamlin, in 2017, revealed Joe Gibbs' son J.D. Gibbs was the one who gave him his first opportunity at JGR. In an X(formerly Twitter) video, Denny Hamlin explained, "He's the one who actually gave me my first opportunity with Joe Gibbs Racing. We went to a test at Hickory Motor Speedway, called his dad up, they signed me about 13 years ago." 

The driver has participated in 650 races in the Cup Series till date, where he has clinched 51 wins and 340 Top-10 positions. Apart from that, the driver also flaunts 40 pole positions.

Denny Hamlin’s Partnerships and Endorsements

Denny Hamlin has had a plethora of sponsorships over the years. Among the most notable is his long-standing relationship with FedEx which dates back to 2005 when he made his Cup Series debut. The conglomerate has served as the primary sponsor for the driver for over 30 races every year. However, in recent times, that number has come down significantly. The driver has also had a sponsorship with Coca-Cola and sported the brand on his car for the first time at the 2022 Quaker State 400 at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

Hamlin's other sponsors include Yahoo!, Shingrix, and Mavis Tyres & Brakes, among others.

via Getty

Denny Hamlin’s investments

Denny Hamlin is not just a full-time driver in the Cup Series. He is the co-owner of 23XI Racing with NBA legend Michael Jordan. Jordan and Hamlin announced on September 21, 2020, that they would be forming a Cup team to start competing in 2021, with Jordan holding the majority ownership. The team currently fields two full-time drivers, Bubba Wallace in the #23 and Tyler Reddick in the #45.

Bubba Wallace was the first driver they signed after buying a guaranteed starting spot in every 2021 race after purchasing a charter from Germain Racing. Hamlin and Wallace are two of the most outspoken individuals in the Cup Series, and even the people they work closely with aren't afraid to speak up, making it a feisty combo. As a team owner, Hamlin is a fan of NASCAR's charter system as he believes it to be a lifeline for owners.

The team was later expanded to two drivers, and Tyler Reddick joined in. The name, 23XI, is an amalgamation of Jordan's most-used jersey number (23) and the JGR car number which Hamlin drives (11). The team has a technical alliance with Joe Gibbs Racing.

Denny Hamlin’s NASCAR career stats

Ever since Denny Hamlin's debut in NASCAR in 2004, the driver has been a regular face in the circuit for around 18 years. While Hamlin started his Xfinity and Craftsman Truck Series career in 2004, he was seen in a Cup race for the first time in 2005. Over his illustrious career, Denny Hamlin has participated in a staggering 650 races in the NASCAR Cup Series as of August 30, 2023. He has been to clinch victory on 51 occasions and also featured 340 times in the Top-10. Apart from that, Hamlin has also secured 40 pole positions during that time.

As for his Xfinity series career, the driver has had 163 race features as of August 30, 2023. Emerging victorious in 18 races, Hamlin has been able to secure a pole position in 21 races with 101 Top-10s.

Denny Hamlin's Truck series career has been his least elaborate one among the Top 3 NASCAR promotions. The driver has participated in only 16 races over 9 years. With two wins and 10 Top-10s, the driver has secured a pole position only once.

 Denny Hamlin records

With a career spanning almost two decades, Denny Hamlin has successfully proven his dominance in the sport. With 51 all-time wins as of December 2023, the driver sits at a comfortable 13th position just behind the Petty family patriarch, Lee Petty on the All-Time NASCAR Cup Series Wins List. Apart from that, the #11 JGR driver has taken a victory lap in the Daytona 500 race thrice in his career with two of those wins in successive years. Beating the likes of Martin Truex Jr, Kyle Busch and Kevin Harvick, Hamlin's first Daytona 500 win came in 2016. Subsequently, the driver went on to win the crown jewel race again in 2019 and 2020.

However, those are not Denny Hamlin's only crown-jewel race victories. The driver emerged victorious in the Cook Out Southern 500 race held at the iconic Darlington Raceway in 2010, 2017, and 2021. Apart from that, he also won the Coca-Cola 600 race in 2022, his first and only victory in the revered event.

However, Hamlin has yet to secure his maiden Brickyard 400 victory at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Denny Hamlin's major achievements and awards

Denny Hamlin, undoubtedly, forms the crème de la crème of stock car racing today. The veteran has several accolades to show for it as well. However, one of his most significant achievements came in 2023 when he was added to the list of NASCAR's 75 Greatest Drivers list. Making his place among icons like Jimmie Johnson, Dale Earnhardt, and Jeff Gordon, Hamlin has almost reached the pinnacle of his stock car racing career.

Denny Hamlin also won the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series Rookie of the Year award in 2006. With 330 points and two race wins, he beat Clint Bowyer and Martin Truex Jr who were second and third on the list with 271 and 243 points respectively. Also in the running that year were Reed Sorenson, JJ Yeley, and David Stremme, who secured 222, 213, and 192 points respectively.

Denny Hamlin and his controversial 'Family Guy' tweet

Hamlin has often been surrounded with controversy but there have been moments when he has taken things a tad too far. One such moment was when he posted a Family Guy meme about Kyle Larson that was cause for outrage among a lot of people. The JGR man tweeted it after Larson's ambitious move at Talladega in the 2022 Cup Series went wrong and he ended up wrecking. The video Hamlin posted was of an offensive Asian stereotype and given Kyle Larson was half-Japanese, very few people found it funny.

Denny Hamlin eventually took down the tweet after a lot of backlash and apologized for his actions on social media. "I took down a post I made earlier today after reading some of the comments. It was a poor choice of memes and I saw how it was offensive. It came across totally wrong. I apologize," he wrote. However, NASCAR still decided to send him to sensitivity training as a result.

Denny Hamlin and his relationship with Kyle Busch

Kyle Busch and Denny Hamlin might have been teammates but the two were never really fond of one another. Both drivers were aggressive and outspoken and that often turned out to be a recipe for disaster. When they were at Joe Gibbs Racing, the two raced each other on track on multiple occasions and things did not always end up well. As Rowdy made the jump to Richard Childress Racing, neither of them had to pretend to be nice to the other in public since they weren't teammates anymore.

Early on in the 2023 season, Kyle Busch said that there was a lack of respect among drivers in the NASCAR garage, something that wasn't the case back in the day. He did not take any names but the whole conversation was in light of Denny Hamlin intentionally wrecking Ross Chastain in the first Phoenix race of the year. "We have completely lost any sense of respect in the garage between the drivers at all. That’s where the problem lies. Nobody gives two ***** about anybody else. It’s just a problem where everybody takes advantage of everybody as much as they can. We’re all selfish, granted. But there was an etiquette that once did live here," he said.

Kyle Busch did not leave Joe Gibbs Racing on the best of terms and while some may speculate that Denny Hamlin may have one of the reasons, there were a lot more pressing matters. Money and performance were certainly a lot higher on that list than a teammate.

USA Today via Reuters

Denny Hamlin embraces his “villain” crown

Denny Hamlin has been branded as the new villain of NASCAR and he has embraced that title with open arms. One of the people who he had some beef with in the 2023 season is Kyle Larson. The two raced hard in the final lap of the first Kansas race of the season for the lead. With just one turn remaining, Hamlin made slight contact with Larson which nudged him into the wall. Thankfully, the HMS man was able to maintain his composure but Hamlin had passed him for the lead by then and he won the race.

The two drivers had a tense moment in Pocono, however. When the race restarted with less than 10 laps remaining. The two were battling for the lead and Hamlin pushed Larson up the track and into the wall. After the race, the HMS driver expressed his dissatisfaction with his JGR counterpart with a seething tirade.

“I’ve been cost a lot of good finishes by him throughout my career, and I know he says I race a certain way, but I don’t think I’ve ever had to apologize to him about anything. So, not that I’m sure he’s going to say sorry after this, but it is what it is," he said. Turns out the HMS man was frustrated with both his racing and how Hamlin is on the Actions Detrimental podcast.

Being booed everywhere he goes and branded as NASCAR's villain may be unnerving to some people but Denny Hamlin has embraced the dark side. “I think there was a time to uh reel that back in but I just think that there’s no going back at this point," he had said about the matter.

Denny Hamlin’s plans for retirement

Denny Hamlin is 43-years-old in 2023. A lot of people may suggest retirement is on the horizon for the JGR man but given Hamlin's attitude, he has shown zero signs of even thinking about hanging up his boots. The #11 driver signed a multi-year deal with Joe Gibbs which will start from the 2024 season. It is safe to say that NASCAR's villain is here to stay for a few more years. After all, the hunger for winning the Cup Series is yet to be satisfied.

Denny Hamlin Social Media

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/DennyHamlin/
Instagramhttps://www.instagram.com/dennyhamlin/
Twitterhttps://twitter.com/dennyhamlin

Personal Information

NameDenny Hamlin
BornNovember 18, 1980
Place of birthTampa, Florida
NationalityAmerican
EducationManchester High School
ParentsDennis Hamlin, Mary Lou Clark
Height6 ft
Weight154 lb
PartnerJordan Fish
KidsTaylor James Hamlin, Molly Gold Hamlin

 

 

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