HomeSportsNascarNASCAR: How Michael Jordan Wound Up Owning a Team With Denny Hamlin

NASCAR: How Michael Jordan Wound Up Owning a Team With Denny Hamlin

by Jonathan Howard
(Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images)

23XI Racing is hoping for a big season in 2022. So how did NASCAR, Michael Jordan, and Denny Hamlin end up joining forces?

Now, Jordan had long been a fan of the sport. He is a fan of most sports, and NASCAR was something that he enjoyed, especially post-retirement in basketball. Always around the tracks and occasionally in racing news, Jordan became a name that was mentioned as a potential new investor or owner in the sport.

It isn’t often when folks give in to rumors that they know are false. There were so many rumors that flew around NASCAR with Michael Jordan and Denny Hamlin mentioned as potential partners. It all made sense. Hamlin was signed to Jordan Brand, the two were close friends… it just hadn’t happened yet.

Then, in the early fall of 2020, an article came out saying that there was a rumor that Hamlin and Jordan were about to go in together on a deal.

“I sent it to him [Jordan],” the driver said. “And he responded immediately. He says, ‘Haha’, you know, ‘Obviously, fake news. Not real. But if you want to make it real news, let me know.'” Let’s be honest folks, Jordan and Hamlin aren’t going to be held up by money. It is no object.

“About 24 to 48 hours later, I flew down to Florida, talked to him at the golf course, and said, you know, ‘Here’s an option. Toyota is open to this. JGR (Joe Gibbs Racing) is open to this. What do you think?'” Hamlin asked his future partner.

Soon after that, it was announced that Bubba Wallace was out of his Richard Petty Motorsports deal. Opening the door for the marriage of NASCAR, Michael Jordan, and Denny Hamlin.

NASCAR: Michael Jordan, Denny Hamlin Expand 23XI Racing

Soon after joining forces in NASCAR, Michael Jordan and Denny Hamlin wanted to make an impact. So, they signed Wallace. One of the biggest stars in the sport. He raced last season full-time with 23XI racing and finished 21st in the Cup Series. Now, in 2022, the stakes have been raised.

Hamling and Jordan want one thing, results. That first season was just to set things up and get established. This season is a big one. The team now has Kurt Busch in the No.45 and will be trying to make two playoff appearances. Wallace almost won Daytona and has raced well this season. Busch qualified for the playoffs last year but has been shaky to start 2022.

This is a long season of NASCAR. Michael Jordan, Denny Hamlin, and the rest of 23XI are looking forward to the rest of the year. If they can get a driver, or both drivers to the postseason, that will be a major statement in just the second year of the team.