NASCAR’s Denny Hamlin Gets Candid About Future of 23XI Racing

by Nick Geddes

23XI Racing, the NASCAR Cup Series team co-owned by Denny Hamlin and Michael Jordan, is still very much in its infancy.

Making its debut in 2021 with Bubba Wallace as the team’s first driver, 23XI further expanded ahead of 2022. Veteran and former Cup Series champion Kurt Busch was added to the fold – behind the wheel of the No. 45 car. Hamlin is continuing to keep an eye out for the future, with further expansion on the table.

Will that come in 2023? The situation remains fluid, Hamlin said recently on Corey LaJoie’s “Stacking Pennies” podcast.

“I don’t know. … This is what we’re talking about – I mean this is what we used to do back in the old days,” Hamlin said. “I just said, ‘I’m gonna get them and I’ll figure out the details later.’ And I wish I knew what the details were. Would we love to expand? Absolutely. I think that that’s something we would like to do. Does it make financial sense to us before we know what the model looks like? Probably not.”

Who’s the Next Driver to Join Denny Hamlin’s 23XI Racing Team?

While the possibility of 23XI Racing adding a driver ahead of 2023 is uncertain, the team promises to introduce one of the sport’s rising talents in 2024. Tyler Reddick, driver of the No. 8 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 for Richard Childress Racing (RCR), is set to join 23XI Racing in 2024.

Reddick, whose RCR contract ends after the 2023 campaign, was a free agent to be. But given the bidding war that would have taken place between teams, Hamlin didn’t feel like waiting. 23XI Racing struck quickly for Reddick’s services, announcing the addition on July 12.

“I just know that I wanted him and I just was going to do everything to get him and that’s the way it’s supposed to be,” Hamlin said. “He was already on the block. He was already talking to other teams and we were one of them. I knew in particular that the end of 2023 is going to be a big free-agent market with a lot of good seats open on big teams. Do I wanna go out and bid against Rick Hendrick and Joe Gibbs and all those guys? No.”

In just his third full-season in the Cup Series, Reddick has become a major player among the field of drivers. Reddick, 26, is 11th in the points standings, with two wins and nine top-10 finishes to his name.

The two drivers of 23XI Racing in Wallace and Busch, meanwhile, have enjoyed nice seasons to date. The latter is currently out of action with a concussion, but is locked into the playoffs with one victory this season. Wallace, though 20th in the points standings, has five top-10 finishes.