RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Why mess with success?
Two days before Chesterfield native Denny Hamlin took to the track in the NASCAR Cup Series playoffs in Martinsville, his 23XI Racing team announced that they will partner with Joe Gibbs Racing and Toyota when they launch next season.
Both brands have been synonymous with Hamlin, who is currently third in the playoff race and very much in contention for his first career title.
The deal means that Hamlin could use the same car for JGR as Bubba Wallace does for 23XI.
“They really don’t have any designated place to them,” Hamlin said. “I’ve ran (Christopher Bell’s) 95 cars this year and the 95 (team) probably have run (Hamlin’s) 11 cars this year, so that’s kind of how that works.”
Having Michael Jordan on board as an owner doesn’t hurt, either. “We’re very blessed to have one of the more iconic people on the entire planet as our team owner, so we’re having great meetings. I believe if anything in year 1, we’re going to have an inventory problem instead of a sponsorship problem,” Hamlin said.
Hamlin’s ownership goals for Wallace are simple.
“Realistically, we want to contend for race wins. That’ll be the first obstacle, is show that we can run top-5 and then contend from there,” Hamlin said.
Hamlin knows the buck stops with him.
“It’s in my hands, right? The success or the failure of it can ultimately fall on me. And I don’t want my reputation to be as a failure as a Cup owner. So I’m going to work very, very hard to make sure that this team is successful,” Hamlin said.