Denny Hamlin discussed the unique perspective he has gained since becoming a co-owner of the NASCAR Cup Series 23XI Racing Team with Michael Jordan.
Denny Hamlin may still compete full-time with Joe Gibbs Racing in the NASCAR Cup Series, just as he has since 2006. But his NASCAR career is starting to move in a different direction in 2020.
Hamlin has long been considered team ownership, and after a rumor spread of him joining NBA legend and longtime friend Michael Jordan and being involved with the Cup Series team, the duo turned “fake news into real news” with the announcement of 23XI Racing, which came two years ago Wednesday (named in later date).
Number 23 is, of course, a reference to the six-time NBA champion’s jersey number. The eleventh is the Roman numeral for the number 11, referring to the number on the three-time Daytona 500 champion Toyota Camry.
The team bought a charter from now-defunct Germain Racing, and signed Bubba Wallace, who was in his third season competing with Richard Petty Motorsports at the time, to drive the #23 Toyota in 2021. They also announced a technical alliance with Joe Gibbs Racing.
In 2021, they purchased a second charter for 2022 from now defunct StarCom Racing, and confirmed that Kurt Busch, who was in his third season competing with Chip Ganassi Racing at the time, to drive the new #45 Toyota.
Now in his second season as a team owner, Hamlin admitted that he gained a whole new perspective by taking on the role, especially as he continues to manage the competition side full time in the sport.
“Sure,” Hamlin said. beyond science In an interview conducted earlier this season. “I think the best quote I’ve seen is that I don’t want to work a 9-5, so now I work 24/7. That’s pretty much my hours, 24/7. I answer emails in the middle of the night or reply to mails The email is at 7:00 a.m. It’s non-stop. Meetings are non-stop.”
On average, when you combine time spent as a driver and time spent as a team owner, how many hours per week does the 41-year-old Chesterfield, Virginia native work?
While finding it hard to put an exact number on it, Hamlin split it up for us.
“I would say, now, I’d probably divide it into 70/30,” he explained. “I am a driver 70% of the time, I own 30% of the time. But I stack a lot of things in 30% of the time I spend.
“So it’s really hard to say how many hours as well, because if I’m thinking in my mind, I work 100 hours a week, maybe more, because I’m constantly thinking about what I can do better as a driver, what mistakes I’m making, it never stops.”
Hamlin has no immediate plans to stop driving, but he has positioned himself well for a long-term future in the sport as an owner when he does – and he certainly should have more time to focus on that single role at the time.
23XI Racing has already won three races since joining the Cup Series last year, including two so far in 2022.