Will Denny Hamlin ever drive for 23XI Racing?

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Denny Hamlin is in a very distinct situation among drivers in the NASCAR Cup Series.

While the career-long member of Joe Gibbs Racing continues to compete as a driver for that team, he’s also part-owner of 23XI Racing along with NBA legend Michael Jordan. Bubba Wallace and Tyler Reddick are the group’s drivers.

One can’t help but wonder if and when Hamlin will ever make the switch to driving for his own team, especially since he’s in his age-43 season?

On the latest edition of “Kevin Harvick’s Happy Hour,” Hamlin discussed his perspective on what it would take for him to drive for 23XI Racing.

“I think it would take a few years because you’ve got to have a pit crew, too. The pit crew is such a big part of the results nowadays,” Hamlin said. “The only advantage to that now, though, is that the cars are so similar. I’m very confident in the speed of the cars. The 23XI is just as fast as Joe Gibbs Racing is, but there’s so many other elements that play into the result that would take a few years to get. You got to have the right person on the top of the pit box. You got to have the right engineers. You’d have to put that team together, and it certainly would take a few years. 

“There’s a few hesitations I have. One is that I want to end my career with Joe Gibbs Racing because I want to be loyal to the person that gave me my start, but yes, there is a part of me that wants to drive for 23XI, absolutely. I think, without doubt, I’ll say that I’ll certainly be racing at 23XI in at least a race at some point in my career.”

Hamlin also said that he sees his “full-time career” as a driver “ending at Joe Gibbs Racing.”

Hamlin has two top-10 finishes this season, including a victory at the Food City 500 at Bristol. He also ranks fourth in the Cup Series in points (206).

Denny Hamlin earns 4th career victory at Bristol, Kevin Harvick reacts

Hamlin is in the midst of his 19th full-time Cup Series season. He has 52 career wins but remains in pursuit of his first Cup Series championship.

Next up for Hamlin & Co. is a Sunday night race at Richmond Raceway in the Toyota Owners 400 (7 p.m. ET on FOX and the FOX Sports app).

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