Denny Hamlin said that he understands the risk of owning a NASCAR team and that his future is more clear to him.
Hamlin partnered NBA legend Michael Jordan in creating a team called 23XI Racing. The team is taking shape as they announced support from Toyota and a technical alliance with Joe Gibbs Racing.
Speaking about ownership and his future, Hamlin said:
“Some people say you can end up coming and going and it’s going to cost a lot of money and all that stuff and I understand the risk,” Hamlin said. “What really made me feel good about it was that Michael’s team spent weeks working on it behind the scenes, looking at the business model, seeing where NASCAR is currently and where they think it’s going in the future and they deemed it a viable model for them.
So, that gave me the confidence because you don’t see him diving into many other businesses, right? He’s very, very stringent when it comes to that. The name is so important. Their message to me was, ‘We can’t go into business and get out two years later. That’s just not going to be valid.’
“We put a long-term plan into place. All those pieces put together persuaded me more in the fact that this is something I’m confident in, but not only that, if I own it, it’s in my hands. The success and failure of it will ultimately fall on me and I don’t want my reputation to be a failure as a Cup owner, so I’m going to work very, very hard to make sure this team is successful.”
As for expectations, Hamlin wants his team to start competing for wins right away.
“I’m trying to do it right from year one. It will take time. Ultimately, to build this into an organization like Joe Gibbs Racing, it takes a lot of time and so you have to be patient as far as that’s concerned,” Hamlin said.
“But we are putting the best race team that is possibly available on the race track in year one. I’m pretty confident we’re going to have the parts and pieces that we need to do it. My vision is well beyond just a one-car team. Hopefully, we can execute and grow year-after-year.
“Realistically, we want to contend for race wins. That will be the first obstacle – show that we can run top-five and then contend from there. I just want to see that we are competitive and if we’re not, you’ve got an insider such as myself at Joe Gibbs Racing that knows what it takes to be competitive.
“So, that’s a little bit of an advantage this race team will have.”