Hamlin is still chasing the NASCAR championship

NBA legend Michael Jordan and NASCAR star Denny Hamlin teamed up to start 23XI Racing in 2020 as the Chicago Bulls great sought to get into the stock-car racing world.

Jordan and Hamlin’s race team includes Bubba Wallace and Tyler Reddick. Hamlin still drives for Joe Gibbs Racing despite owning the team with Jordan.

Michael Jordan and Denny Hamlin

Team 23Xi co-owner Michael Jordan with Denny Hamlin, #11 Joe Gibbs Racing FedEx Ground Toyota, on pit road prior to qualifying for the NASCAR Cup Series Ally 400 on June 24, 2023 at Nashville SuperSpeedway in Lebanon, Tennessee. (Photo by Jeff Robinson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Hamlin is one of the top stars on the NASCAR Cup Series circuit, but one thing has eluded him his entire career – a NASCAR Championship. Netflix’s “NASCAR: Full Speed” documented Hamlin’s fight for his first title. The documentary featured his 50th and 51st wins during the 2023 season.

Hamlin’s father, Dennis, also had an interesting part in one of the episodes. He revealed a special gift Jordan gave him.

“Him and Michael Jordan are good friends, and now they’re partners,” Dennis Hamlin explained. “So, he pulls up in his Lamborghini, and he reaches down in his side door, pulls out this cigar.

Michael Jordan at Bristol

Michael Jordan, NBA Hall of Famer and co-owner of 23XI Racing, looks on from the 23XI Racing pit box during the NASCAR Cup Series Bass Pro Shops Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway on Sept. 16, 2023 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

“Michael Jordan signed it for me and wrote a little letter (that) says, ‘Break it when we in the championship.’ I’m supposed to break that and smoke that cigar. That’s what I’m going to do.”

Unfortunately, Hamlin failed to pick up the NASCAR Championship this past season. He finished in fifth place for the second consecutive season.

With Daytona only a few weeks away, Hamlin is preparing for the possibility of hoisting the trophy before the end of 2024.

Denny Hamlin in Arizona

Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Toyota, drives during the NASCAR Cup Series Championship at Phoenix Raceway on Nov. 5, 2023 in Avondale, Arizona. (James Gilbert/Getty Images)

“And I’d give you everything I own, every car in this garage, house, whatever, if I could make that happen,” Dennis Hamlin added.

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