Hamlin explains split duties as NASCAR driver and 23XI team co-owner
Denny Hamlin has actually clarified how he’ll divide his work in between racing for Joe Gibbs and be co-owner at the brand-new 23XI Racing team in the NASCAR Cup Series.
Hamlin, a triple Daytona 500 winner who is likewise looking for a 3rd successive win the Cup Series’ masterpiece occasion later on this month, will integrate driving responsibilities in the #11 Toyota with running a group of his own issue along with NBA legend Michael Jordan.
23XI Racing, which has actually signed Bubba Wallace to be its sole chauffeur, will delight in a technical alliance with Hamlin’s JGR attire with relied on Hamlin lieutenant Mike Wheeler induced as team chief.
It is not unusual for Cup motorists to likewise run groups in the lower ranks of NASCAR, such as Xfinity or Trucks, with Hamlin’s Gibbs team-mate Kyle Busch frequently ending up for his own group in both junior champions.
Nevertheless, 44-time race winner Hamlin will end up being the very first chauffeur to race in the Cup Series versus an automobile which he is a part-owner given that Tony Stewart in 2016, when the three-time champ completed in his last season for Stewart-Haas Racing.
“From my standpoint, I am really looking forward to going to the track, and concentrating on one thing, and that is being a race car driver and getting the most out of it,” stated Hamlin.
“For myself, I’ve felt like February 1st was the date where I was kind of done with the day-to-day for 23XI and I just think my focus is now on the #11 team and how we can win a lot of races and win a championship.
“That’s eventually going to be the very best thing for me in the long run, is to continue to achieve success, which will be an advantage for my race group too.
“As long as I keep my on-track success, I can continue to be an asset and that is something that is good for them [23XI].
“This is where my focus is now. I’ll spend a day, a day-and-a-half during the week, that I would typically have off in the middle of the week, to concentrate on 23XI, but my preparation time, my post-race time will be unchanged here on the chauffeur’s side.”
Given Jordan’s high-profile status, and the fact he is from a demographic historically adverse to NASCAR’s white-dominated scene, Hamlin is also optimistic of the positive change 23XI can bring about, in view of the series’ push in the last year to increase diversity, representation and create a dialogue with minorities.
“This is a platform that is a bit different, Michael Jordan has this huge following, and that following is now having an interest in NASCAR,” explained Hamlin.
“We have a lot of people that had probably never attended a NASCAR race before that will now probably go.
“It is running a race team, but it is also about a bigger message.
“It starts from the executive side, we are extremely diverse, so I really believe that hopefully we can continue to push change and make this sport even more inclusive.
“I think NASCAR has done a phenomenal job. They did great job last year with everything that went on, with the Confederate flag ban. They are really pushing boundaries that they’ve never pushed before and certainly, if that opens up the fanbase for NASCAR, that is going be better for everyone.”
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Jobber Wiki author Frank Long contributed to this report.